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ANNALS 



OF 



The DeRosset Family 

Huguenot Immigrants to tne Province of Nortn Carolina 
Early m the Eignteentk Century 



COMPILED FROM ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS BY 
CATHERINE DEROSSET MEARES 




"Go call t!iy sons! Instruct them what a debt 
They OTve their ancestors, and make them s'wear 
To pay it. by transmitting down entire 
The sacred heritage to which themselves were bon 



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PRESSES OF 

THE H. L. BHVflN COMPANV 

COLUMBIA, S. C. 



, I U 



To the revered memory of a long line oi ■wortny 
ancestry these pages are inscribea by one or their 
descendants, who has a -worthy pnde in the record 
or exalted piety and steadfast faith, of public service 
and private virtues -which they have left for the imi- 
tation of generations yet to come. 



In Uit (;•!■< 11^ i.ij 1 i 

of our forefatht 1- 
criticism or iu;' 
some records oi 
and were forgotters 

After my f ei 
snce had shelteftd : 
were found and br^ 
undertook the task. 
loneliness. ,r»,M ':->'-><i9>^l ■j.ra-^-nUiD 

It may ! 

|!u»[i<' !s tft i»tgr.- . 



North Cari>Jir<a (1 

title of "The DeR{)«set Fap 

forth many rsaqtiests Ih; 



FOREWORD 

In offering to the DeRossets of my own and future generations this memorial 
of our forefathers, I do not claim for it any literary merit, nor do I invoke either 
criticism or indulgence. It is simply an effort to preserve in permanent form 
some records of the olden time, whicii were laid aside long ago for safe-keeping, 
and were forgotten or neglected as the years passed on. 

After my father's death, in 1897, the old house, which in its century of exist- 
ence had sheltered six generations, was to pass out of the family. These papers 
were found and brought from their hidden recesses, and as a labor of love I 
undertook the task, which has proved a solace and comfort in times of sorrow and 
loneliness. 

It may be thought that I have gone too far into historical detail — familiar to 
our elders, it is true ; but my hope is to interest our young people in the story of 
their ancestors, and thereby to inspire them with a love of general historical study 
and research. 

It may be pertinent to state that a short time ago some of the documents herein 
contained were, by permission, printed in the magazine of the University of 
North Carolina (The Jas. Sprunt Historical Monograph, No. IV.), under the 
title of "The DeRosset Papers." They aroused unlooked-for interest and called 
forth many requests that have induced this publication. C. DeR. Meares. 



INTRODUCTORY 

"The souls of the righteous are in the hands of God." 
"Their names shall be had in everlasting remembrance." 

A daughter of an ancient, honorable house, who, standing on the threshold 
of a new century, pauses for a backward glance down the vista of past years, 
finds an inviting field of i-eti'ospect and research ever widening before her. 

In mental vision she sees a stately procession of dames and sii'es, whose names 
have been made familiar to her in the oft-told tales of later generations. Imagi- 
nation would weave around them many a romance of love and devotion, of chiv- 
alry and heroism, but the bare facts of their story have a sufficient charm of their 
own, which, illumined with vivid reality by the flash-lights of legend and tradi- 
tion, makes truth seem to her more interesting, if not more strange, than fiction. 
The ties of kindred are drawn closer by the simple act of Remembrance, and at 
its tender touch a fresh sensation is born within her, kindling the desire to per- 
petuate their memory as her heart echoes the words of Solomon the wise, 

"The glory of children are their Fathers." 

The principle of reverence for ancestors seems to be implanted in the human 
heart. Men in all ages and in all lands have manifested it. In some form or 
other it was embodied in all the ancient myths and religions, and the Oriental 
Nations still maintain it in their systems of ancestral worship. The thoughtful 
philosopher of old, gi-oping in the darkness of a hopeless future, asking 
"whither am I going?" turned with scarce less earnestness to the dim past for a 
solution of the counter-mystery, "whence came I, and my fathers before me?" 

It has been reverently remarked that there was one point of human pride and 
greatness that even our Lord in His humanity did not disdain — His illustrious 
lineage ! Emptied of His Divine glory, and taking upon Himself the form of a 
servant, choosing for His earthly abode the home of a village carpenter, and for 
His Virgin-Mother, a lowly maid of Nazareth, yet it was divinely ordered that 
that most blessed among women, should, for her Christ-Child, claim descent 
through a long hne of Israel's Kings, that so her Son might be known to the 
world He came to save as "the Son of David, the King," the Son of "Abraham, 
the Friend of God." 



ANNALS OF THE DEKOSSET F A M 1 L Y 

With such precedent and example, what wonder is it that we should love to 
search the records of the past and recall the noble characters whose worthy 
deeds have bequeathed to us the heritage of "a good name, which is better than 
great riches !" Well may the hearts of each successive generation thrill with the 
enthusiasm of reverent love and pride, and be stimulated to imitate the virtues 
and emulate the good works of those who have "gone before." 

In the last half-century there has been a remarkable awakening of interest in 
genealogical research. Societies have been organized whose avowed object is to 
preserve the memory of ancestors, to collect data concerning their genealogy and 
history, and to perpetuate the part they took in the founding and upbuilding of 
the New World. Coming to its shores from every enlightened nation, these 
immigrants found generous welcome and secure refuge, and well did they reward 
her fostering care by bringing to our fair land all that was noble and best of the 
Old World's civilizations. 

Of all classes of men who have helped to make this nation, none can boast a 
prouder ancestry than the descendants of those French Huguenots, who for many 
weary years suffered persecution for conscience's sake ; who with steadfast faith 
and patient heroism "endured grief, suffering wrongfully ;" who fought valiantly 
for the Truth as God revealed it to them, and who, when Hope had sunk into 
Despair, abandoned worldly honors and possessions and fled from kindred and 
country to make new homes among strangers in a far-off land and to do their 
parts as worthy citizens of the "Land of the Free." History tells that the 
story of Huguenot endurance is among the most heroic and remarkable records 
of religious persecution, and that their noble qualities of heart and mind, purified 
and strengthened by affliction, assured for them glad welcome and made them a 
blessing and honor to every home of their adoption. 

Holding in reverent love the honored name of one of those Huguenot refugees, 
I deem it due to his memory that his descendants should possess such records of 
the past as are still extant. The "moth and rust" of Time are fast doing their 
destructive work upon the old documents, and all that remain are necessarily held 
in safe-keeping and are not available for frequent reference. Therefore, failing 
one better fitted for the work, and deeply feeling my inability to do it justice, I 
make this attempt to compile the existing records for the benefit of those of this 
and later generations who may feel interested in them ; earnestly hoping that in 
years to come my imperfect tribute to the memory of our forefathers may be 
revised and improved upon by some later scion of the good old family of 
DkRo-sset. e DjjR jj 

Wilmington, N. C, 1906. 

Page Eight 



PART I 

The Early Records 



CHAPTER I. • 

Ancient Genealogical Lines. 
"He who has no ancestors thinks but little of it, but he who has rejoices in it." 

In tlie public "Acts" of the Southeastern Provinces of France the deRosset 
name is variously written deRozet, deRosset, deRouzet, deRousset, &c., but most 
frequently in its present form ; always, however, ending in "et" it was pro- 
nounced deRossay, never as now, as though spelled "ette." It was a numerous 
family, with ramifications in various locahties. Records of three distinct 
branches exist, each of which bears internal evidence of relationship to the two 
others, showing conclusively that they were all from a common stock, though the 
origin of the family is lost in the darkness and turmoil of medieval ages. All 
that we know of its early history we owe to the untiring interest and research 
of my brother, the late Louis H. deRosset (1840-1875). Residing in England 
for several years after the close of the War Between the States, the opportunity 
was offered him of searching into the Government records and those of the 
French Huguenot Church in London, and also for a visit to the south of France 
to examine the State papers in the archives of several cities where our ancestors 
had resided. Louis was a good French scholar and, though his time was limited, 
the discoveries he made proved to be of great interest and value, and encourage 
the hope that future research may bring to light other documents of still greater 
importance. Copies were made (and attested officially) of records at Mont- 
pelier, Avignon and elsewhere, and memoranda taken of detached items wherever 
our name, or names of other families connected with ours, were found. These 
documents give undoubted proof of the high social rank of the deRossets for 
many centuries and establish beyond dispute our claim to be of the same blood. 
Tradition had taught us that we were of Swiss origin, and again that we were of 
French descent, both of which statements are substantiated by these papers, and 
their discrepancy explained. 

Of these the most interesting to us is copied from "L'Histoire de la Noblesse 
de Languedoc," the home of our immediate ancestors. 

deRosset in Provence. 

Translation. — "An ancient manuscript in the archives of Aries relates that 
the deRosset family is originally from Switzerland; and that Nicolas (or 

Page Thirteen 



ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY 

'Coulet') dc-Rossef, wlio is the first of whom we know anytliing, left that country 
in tlie fourteenth century with the otlier 'gentlemen' who were faithful to the 
iiouse of Austria, when the Swiss 'threw off the foreign yoke.' Nicolas came 
at first to dwell at Lyons, from there to Toulon, then to Aries and finally to Salon, 
where Amedee (1), Bertrand (1), Amedee (2), and Bert rand (2), his descend- 
ants, carried on an honorable commerce in order to repair the losses that Nicolas, 
their ancestor, had incurred in leaving the great possessions he had held in the 
Swiss Cantons. 

"Antoivc dcRosset, son of Bertrand (2), and another Antoine, his first cousin, 
applied to Francis I. for letters of rehabilitation of their nobility, which were 
granted to them by that King, February 13, 1515, 'Propter antiquam nobili- 
tatem,' and those same letters, which are registered at Aix, in the Chambre des 
Comtes (Regitre Piscis), also tell that Antoine inherited all the property of his 
cousin, and left by Marie de Bellis (his first wife) one daughter, of whom 
nothing is known. 

"Antoine married (2d) Antoinette de Silvy, mother of Gaspard (1), who suc- 
ceeded, and of several other sons, who died in the service of the King during the 
wars of the League. 

"Gaspard (1) was Governor of the Chateau de Vernegues, and had by Jeanne 
de Damian- Vernegues (1) Thomas, (2) Mathieu, an officer in the troops of 
the Republic of Venice, and (3) Charles, Lieut. -Col. of the Regiment of Provence 
and Commandant of the Fortress of Sal9es, in 1631.* The following year he 
defended the Chateau de Beaucaire against the Duke de Montmorenci, 'who 
dared not attack it, knowing his valor.' The King in recompense of his services 
created him in 16-17 Field Marshal of his Armies, and in 164:8 he was entrusted 
with the command of the coasts of Provence from Toulon to Antibes. The 
Queen Mother thanked him for the zeal he had shown for the welfare and tran- 
quility of the State, by a letter which is preserved in the original among the 
archives of the family. 

"jT/iomas deRosset, Co-Seigneur d'Auronc, married Blanche deRenaud (des 
Seigneurs d'Aleric), as per contract of 1600, and left (1) Gaspard 2d, who 
succeeded (2) Charles (received Knight of Malta in 164)0), and was Capt. of 



*Sal<,'es was one of the most important of the frontier fortresses of France, the command of 
which was an lionor eagerly souglit liy military men of ranli. Situated at tlie foot of the 
Pyrenees near the Mediterranean, it guarded the entrance to the little Kingdom of Roussillon, 
and was called "the Key of Spain" on the side of Catalonia. In the long continued wars be- 
tween France and Spain its possession was of the greatest importance to lioth nations, who 
alternately besieged and held it. 

Page Fourteen 



A N N ALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

Cavalry in the regiment of Gassion, afterwards an exempt of the body-guard, 
and died in 1680, after having been given a 'Commandery.' 

"(3) Andre (received Knight at the same time as his brother) died during the 
wars of the Piedmont. (4 and 5) Marie and Marthe deRosset, who married into 
the houses of deCordes and deDamian. 

"Gaspard (2) married Catherine de Milamy, and had by her, among other 
children, Charles and Blanche ; the latter also married into the family deCordes. 

"Charles married, in 1686, Madeleine deTorenc, by whom he had (1) Francois, 
(2) Louis and (3) Antoine. The last two died Captains in the Regiment of 
Taillard. Charles was maintained in his nobility by judgment of M. le Bret in 
1705. 

"Frangois, after having served as Captain in the same regiment for thirty-five 
years, was 'retired' at Senas in 1740, with a pension from the King, under the 
Cross of St. Louis, and married in 1743 Claire de Faudron, daughter of 'the 
noble Andre Joseph de Faudron, Seigneur de Taillades.' " 

The above has this endorsement : 

Copie de ArtefeuUle. — Histoire de la Noblesse de Provence, 2 tom., pp. 339, 
&c., Avignon, 1776. 

DE ROZET. 
Seigneurs et Barons de la Garde en Calvere et en Quercy. 

Coat of Arvis. 

"D'Azure a un Lion d'or rampant arme ; couroune et langue de gueule, tenant 
dans les pattes de devant une Hache d'armes aussi d'or, le manche en bas." 

Translation. — "The house deRozet, distinguished for mihtary services, whose 
name is in the 'Acts' indifferently written deRozet, deRouzet, deRoset, de- 
Rousset and deRosset, is without doubt one of the oldest of Quercy.* The 
original titles which they produce are of sufficient proof, notwithstanding that 
the line cannot be traced certainly beyond the middle of the fourteenth century. 
The Chateau de la Garde, which from time immemorial belonged to the MM. 
deRozet, was taken and pillaged during the civil wars by judgment of the 
Seneschal deLauzerte, January 10, 1640, which misfortune takes it out of their 



*Quercy and Rouergue were neighboring Countships in the Duchy of Aquitaine. The chief 
town of Quercy was Cahors, that of Rouergue was Rhodez. The whole was then a part of 
Languedoc. In the thirteenth century they lapsed to the Crown and their names can now 
only be found in an ancient atlas or history. ( Encyelopiedia Britannica. "Toulouse.") 

Page Fifteen ' 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

power, in common with other houses reputed tlie most ancient, to trace a longer 
line." 

The historian, La Faille, in his "Traite de la Noblesse dcs Capitouls de 
Toulouse"! (1707), pp. 106, &c., also places this house among the most ancient 
of Quercy. "Tlie Rozets," he says, "Seigneurs de la Garde and of other prop- 
erties in Quercy, very old 'gentlemen,' were, by report of the historians of the first 
Crusade (1096), among the lords who made the passage across the sea. Their 
principal wealth descended through a daughter in the family of the old Barons 
de Sux (or Suzech), to whom succeeded the Counts de Rastignac." Some 
detached memoranda of this branch will be found interesting. 

''In 1263, one Segui deRozet, assisted at an 'Act.' " 

"In 1271, Messire G. deRozet, Chevalier, in his will requests to be buried in 
the cemetery of Ste. Marie de Lauzerte. He leaves to his wife (la Dame Guil- 
harde, 8000 'fols de Cahors,' 'being the dowry received with her.' Their 
children are mentioned: (1) Segui, (2) Andrait, married Jean Puzel, (3) Ar- 
mande, (4) Finas, (5) Philippe, and (6) Guiscarde. All are daughters except 
the first, Segui, who in 1260 married and had issue, (1) Arnaud, (2) Fabre, (3) 
Bert rand, (4) Faurc, (5) Franfois (Arch Priest). 

"In 1279, Bd. deRozet made his will, leaving as sole heir Arnaud deRozet — 
probably his nephew — who married Dame Martine. She afterwards married 
le noblehomnie Messire B. de St. Geniez, Chevalier, &c. 

"In 1689, Pierre deRozet married Marie de la Boissiere, and had issue, 
Joseph, Arnaud and others." But these bring us to a date more recent than 
the Revocation and, therefore, the record has no further interest for us. 

Two items, however, should be noticed as referring to Protestant members of 
the family prior to the Revocation. 

"In 1614, Paul deRousset, Sgr. de Cluzeau, m. the dau. of Francois d'Alzac 
and Anne de Seyrat." The place is not mentioned, but the record says "they are 
Protestants." 

October 28. 1645, Pierre de Rousset, Sgr. d'Elcassc, m. Marguerite de Tou- 
louse, dau. of the Marquis de Toulouse-Lantrec, Sgr. de St. Geniez, Baron de 
Cesterols and Seneschal de Castres, "one of the strongest Protestants." 



fToulouse had twelve Capitularies or Consuls. Early in the fourteenth century they took the 
name of "domini de capitulo;" a little later, that of "capitulum nobiliura." In the sixteenth 
century, by a false derivation, the ancient "domini de capitulo" was changed into the modern 
"Capitouls." 

Page Sixteen 










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^cartels au prr- 
Ie« feuille«i d'or, q^ 
au 

au -^ - ^- 

au quatrieme d'azur 4 trois ; 

8ur la tout d'aziir k trois roses d'or, quj '■ 

This docurri' J ' " i . ■ ■• ^ 

Montpeiier; i 

was obtained through the Coun ^d by the cc 

pastor of the French HugueiK 



,,T5 . 1. r. 



is Philippe deRosset, Sgr. and Bar^ 

a! 



and had issue, . 

ried Blaide de Tranqni^r iV'Vmi/ j^MabMs.viJ^ 



ItabelU c- 
Etienne, Mm'- 

Pierre '' " U'- li/;,. 

guerite dr ^ -ue: (1) 

deGep, (2) Jean, who succeeded, (3) Etienne, (4) Ja« 
Perronne. 

Jean «iv<..-, 
manding a or 
Vissec df? In 1 



Fran^oin deRosset, Sgr. de Gorga-* <»nH ^^l* ' 
>&ym\, heiress oi" 
t' ' " e«, de Gvrgai, - 

d : V of Sgr. d'Arpi., 

Roussillon : ir.. Av, '686, Anne de F- 



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ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

DE ROSSET DE FLEURY. 

Coat of Arms. 

6cartele au premier d'argent a un boquet de trois roses de gueule, la tige et 
les feuiUes d'or, qui est "deRosset." 

au deuxinie, de gueule, au lion d'or, qui est "deLasset." 
au troiseme ecartele d'argent et de sable, qui est "de la Tude." 
au quatrieme d'azur a trois roses dechiquier d'or, qui est de "Rocozel." 
sur la tout d'azur a trois roses d'or, qui est "de Fleury." 
This document is translated from "de la Roque Noblesse de Languedoc." 
Montpelier; Felix Seguin, Libraire-Editeur, 1160, pp. 4-49-451, No. 482. It 
was obtained through the Count d'Aragon and by the courtesy of M. Marzials, 
pastor of the French Huguenot Church in London, was loaned to Louis H. 
deRosset, January 30, 1866, and copied by himself. 

The house deRosset is originally from Rouergue. The first known founder 
is Philippe deRosset, Sgr. and Baron de Monpaon, Due de Vabres, who married 
about 1400 Marguerite deRoquefeuil. 

Philippe (2) m. first, Elizabeth de Premillac, and second, Perronne de Pavie, 
and had issue, ( 1 ) Pierre I., Sgr. de la Vallette and Co-Sgr. de Soubez, who mar- 
ried Blaide de Tranquier. From this marriage was born Pierre (2), who was 
the founder of the line proven before M. deBezons (d'Hozier J. R. 471). 

Pierre deRosset (2) Sgr. de Brignac de la Vernede, m. November 6, 1504, 
Isabelle deLasset. Issue: (1) Pierre, who followed (2) Thomas, and (3) 
Etienne, Minister of the Church in Lodeve. 

Pierre deRosset (3) Sgr. de Brignac de la Vernede and de Gorgas, m. Mar- 
guerite de Chavagnac. Issue: (1) Michel, who m. December 9, 1550, Gabrielle 
deGep, (2) Jean, who succeeded, (3) Etienne, (4) Jacquette, (5) Franfoise, (6) 
Perronne. 

Jean deRosset, Equerry, Sgr. de Gorgas and de la Vernede, Capt. com- 
manding a company of warriors (1591), m. March 3, 1567, Etiennette de 
Vissec de la Tude. Had issue: (1) Francois, who succeeded (2) Souveraine, 
who m. Arnaud deNeffics, (3) Angele, who m. Elie de Soumaitre, (4) Marquise, 
who m. Francois deCannac. 

Frangois deRosset, Sgr. de Gorgas and de la Vernede, m. July 25, 1598, 
CatJierine deRocozel, heiress of her house, had many children, of whom Jean 
deRosset, Sgr. de Ceilhes, de Gorgas, de la Vernede and de Rocozel, "Homme 
d'armes" in the company of Sgr. d'Arpajon, assisted at the siege of Sal9es in 
Roussillon; m. August 11, 1636, Anne de Paschal de Saint Juery. Issue: (1) 

Page Seventeen 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

Jean Louis, Minister of the Church in Lodeve, Arch Deacon of St. Fulcrand, 
(2) Bernardin, who succeeded, (3) Guillaume, (4) Fran9ois, (5) Catherine, 
who m. Pons de la Treille, (6, 7 and 8) Antoinette, Marie and Jeanne, Ursuline 
nuns at Lodeve. 

Bernardin dcRosset, Sgr. de Ceilhes, dc Rocozel, de Bonloc, de Gorgas and 
de la V'eniede (maintained in his nobility with his father by royal decree of 
August 29, 1669), ni. January 24, 1680, Marie de Fleury— sister of the Car- 
dinal. Issue: (1) Jean Hercule, who succeeded, (2) Henri, Minister of the 
Church in Lodeve, (3) Pons, Governor of Souniieres (1729), Lieut.-Gcn. of 
the King's Annies (1734), Governor of Roussillon (1736), Grand Cross of the 
Order of St. Louis (1737), (4) Philippe Antoine, (5, 6, 7) Marie, Helen and 
Anne, (8) Marguerite, who ni. June 28, 1797, Jean Baptiste de Fleury, Capt. 
in the Queen's Regiment. 

The record is continued to 1815, when the direct line of deRosset de Fleury 
became extinct by the death, in Paris, of Andre Hercule, who left no issue. 

Cardinal de Fleury was a native of Lodeve. His eminent position in Church 
and State enabled him to advance the interests of his sister's family. As the 
record relates : "La Maison deRosset ayant herite de la f aveur accordee au Car- 
dinal ;" his nephew, Jean Hercule deRosset, in 1730, obtained the changing of the 
Barony of Perpignan, in Languedoc, into a Dukedom, under the name de 
Fleury. The coat of anus we have described is not of de Fleury, but of deRosset 
— the quarterings being all of families allied to that of deRosset prior to the 
marriage of Bernadin deRosset and IMarie de Fleury (1680). 

As this marriage took place only five years before the Revocation and the exile 
of our ancestoi', we claim no inheritance of de Fleury blood, though it is said 
that the "Pierre" who founded this line was also the founder of our branch of the 
family. The spelling of the name is identical with our own, which increases the 
pi'obability of the statement. 

We must bear in mind the historical fact that the bitter hatred of the Protest- 
ants required all traces of them to be obliterated. Their very names were blotted 
out, their estates confiscated, marriages annulled and children declared illegiti- 
mate. As late as 1866, my brother found it impossible to induce the people to 
talk of the Huguenots and their times. 

He visited, among other cities, Uzes, Nimes, Montpelier, Cette, Avignon, 
Narbonne and Bordeaux, and found it the same everywhere. 

It will be observed that many sons of the dcRosset de Fleury line were abbots 
and ministers of the Church of Rome, and that numerous of their maidens lived 
and died nuns in the Convents of Lodeve. 

Page Eighteen 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

Still another and more illustrious line, in which the name deRosset appears, 
was found by my brother Louis. It is that of St. Louis, Roi de France (1226- 
1270), who by Marguerite de Provence had many descendants. Their oldest 
son, Robert of France, Comte de Clermont (d. 1317), m. Beatrix de Bourgoyne 
Dame de Bourbon, from whom came the Bourbon Kings, who in 1593, in the 
person of Henry IV^ (of Navarre), ascended the throne. Among the names of 
distinguished men who married daughters of this line (the Dukes of Savoie 
and de Montmorenci, the Count de la Marche, &c.), is found that of Georges 
deRosset, Sgr. de Saint Sauveur — his daughter, Laure deRosset de St. Sauveur, 
m. Gabriel, Sgr. de Chateau Blanc, and their daughter, Diane de Chateau 
Blanc, m. Charles de Vissec, Marquis de Gorgas, &c. 

My purpose in transcribing all these, apparently useless, papers, is both to 
preserve in their entirety my brother's notes and memoranda, which may some day 
be valuable, and also as sufficient pi-oofs of the nobility and social standing of 
the deRosset family in their native land. 

But, after all, interesting though they are, they do not give us the missing 
link which would prove for us a direct genealogical line through all those 
centuries. 



Page Nineteen 



CHAPTER II. 

The Old Documents. 

In 1840, Wilmington was visited by a disastrous conflagration, which destroyed 
niucli of the business portion of the town, including my grand-father's office, 
where were stored the old French Bible, containing dates of births, marriages, 
deaths, &c., important family records, and priceless memorials brought to this 
country by our refugee ancestor. By some happy chance a few French papers 
were not among them, and from those that remain, together with traditions 
handed down by several sucessive long-lived generations, we get a fair outline of 
our family history for some 300 years. Of these extant papers the oldest is 
known as 

''The Mathieu Document." 

It is inscribed on parchment (of asses' skin), in elaborate chirography, with 
characters so minute and contractions so numerous, that the efforts of the 
best French scholars never were successful in deciphering it. Only the name 
"Mathieu Rosset" could be distinguished. So its purport remained a mystery 
for many generations, until in 1898 I determined, if possible, to find an expert 
who could interpret and translate it. At Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, 
^Id., I met in the Assistant Librarian, Mr. Melvin Brandow, the man I had been 
seeking, and I record his name here, as a small but grateful tribute to his kindness 
and courtesy as well as to his success. It proved to be the official appointment of 
Mathieu Rosset as Secretary in Ordinary to the Due d'Anjou. As it must 
remain unintelHgible to any but an expert, it may be interesting to point out 
some of its notable points, that we may get a taste of its historic flavor. 

The Duke d'Anjou was the youngest of the four sons of Henri II. and Cath- 
erine de ]\Iedici. The three oldest reigned successively Kings of France, viz: 
Francis II., Charles IX. and Henry HI., the last of whom was still on the 
throne, fulfilling his destiny as the last of the Valois, and the weakest and most 
ignoble of Kings. These all died childless, and if Anjou had outlived his 
brother, he, too, would have reigned. 

The Queen-Mother used all her arts to bring about the marriage of the heir 
presumptive to Elizabeth of England, but without avail. He was weak and 
vacillating and at one time openly espoused the cause of the Protestants and 

Page Twenty 



y?i i c ac ge«e»»gaM»>ii«<v-j.\sw j.»»!c.'<«>,v. 



■ Appointment 


>'t 




i Matkieu 


deR 


o«?ct 




ci? Secr<itary to F 


-ir.CLUt 


d;.c d 


An,,u: 


May 18, 


A, D, 


158! 





CHAFTEE IL 



In 18m '^' 
niach of 

deaths, ■■' 

Ciilii 



Kna^vs as 



!<; 3§ iais<: 



''The Mathi^M 



:^Misi ^^kjj; J J 



:«!- Willi traditions 
•• r outline of 



■egrapliv, with 



;;l)iirsictiLs\s st) iniimie ana ronrraotions so nuruero'li, ti^ai tlie eiforts of the 



l»si- Fmsch scholars nevcV* S'W^^Aasfn] ;t= ■;:;!;•- "-..■ •;, D:\'\- !he naaie 
"Ivlathieu Kjissef' or.u.!i?'H»o^?fe.>?f*#sM | systery 

for many gUKn-amfil'/\i?fl'?l'»«?'¥?<!'b«' f''^'V."-';--n li possiiue, to liiid a« expert 
aI; > •'•!;.' i : .rpr-.-r and trH:i"fiu^ it. "rit icljr.s Ilopkiri? University, Baltimore, 
i: • .n iJ'ic .Vasusi'.aut t..!(.;i?/irJH.n., Mr. Meiv'iii Brssdow, the man I had been 
■ ■■i.ijisji ^;;sl ? rs-^e^-fi liis Qjuise terg, &* a sssmiU bu* grsd^f ui tribute to \m kindness 

iccess. It proved to be the official appointment of 
•'■ '■nary to the Due d'Anjou. As it must 
> :. vpsrt. it sr.ay be (.atei-esting to point out 

• .= ■ > sv<-;.-yssf> |Ks«as-. si^at wt- issSj get a taste of its historic flavor. 

gt-st of the four sons of Henri II. and Cath- 

'! )0? V > thf !«st of the Valois, and the weakest and most 

'Jldie-ss, sind if Aujuu had outlived iiia 



•Jj ".Mcst-fesjr aSi: .irtii t» bfing at^wui the 

; to Eiizaln^th of t,nglKrii:i, but wiKhiH?! a 



<V>3!J5? 



life hftir 



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time opi^vjly es|ss>us«?si U>* 



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ANNALS OF THE DE ROSS ET FAMILY 

Henry of Navarre, but was brought back to his allegiance through the mediation 
of his mother and the tempting offer of the Dukedom of Anjou, a higher dignity 
than that of d'Alen9on which he held. 

The appointment of Mathieu is made, May 18th, 1581, through Christoffe 
de Thou, Councillor of State and first President of the Parliament of Paris. He 
was the father of Jacques de Thou, Royal Librarian and famous as the great 
Latin historian of his time. 

The document bears the autograph "Fran9oys" — he is called "Son of France 
and only brother of the King" — and it is "Given at Alen9on," &c. On the 
reverse is this endorsement, "On July 10th following, 1582, Mathieu deRosset 
took the required oath and entered upon the duties of his office with all its favors, 
privileges, rights, &c., &c." 

THE REVOCATION OF THE EDICT OF NANTES. 

May 2, 1685. 
"God sifted a whole nation that He might send choice seed into this wilderness." 

When Louis XIV. (1643-1715) signed the Revocation of the Edict of Nantes, 
he little knew what a blessing he was bestowing upon other nations at the expense 
of his own fair realm. It was the virtual banishment of 50,000 families of the 
best blood of the kingdom. It was no mob of the commune, no motley crowd of 
the offscouring of the people, that were driven from their homes ; but a vast 
throng of peaceable, industrious citizens of every degree ; skilled artisans, manu- 
facturers and agriculturists ; men of military renown ; distinguished men of 
letters, art and science; families of culture and refinement, who planted in every 
land of their refuge the good seed of a fresh, wholesome and vigorous civilization. 

The Huguenot movement did not begin among the poor unlettered class, but 
among the noble, learned and distinguished of the Provinces. The cruelties of 
persecution weighed heavily upon those of the South, for they were the strong- 
holds of the "diabolical faith." The leaders of "the new religion" were men of 
rank and pohtical and military distinction. Among them were the illustrious 
princes and statesmen of the house of Conde ; the wise and good Duke de Sully ; 
the great Marshal Turenne; the pure and pious Admiral Gaspard de Coligny, 
the immortal proto-martyr of St. Bartholemew's Eve; the renowned warrior, 
Frederick Amiand, Duke de Schomberg, and others of the same type. Their 
clergy were learned, eloquent, zealous and pious ; their followers were brave and 
courageous, consecrated to their cause and ready to die in its defense. Prince 
and peasant aUke rallied around the white plume of Navarre, and the standards 

Page Twenty-One 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

of other leaders, to fight the good fight of a true Faith against ecclesiastical 
tyranny and political despotism; for political antagonism and ambition, rather 
than religious zeal, was the real motive power of all that warfare and persecution. 
Edicts and counter-edicts were promulgated to suit the temper, or to advance 
the interests and ambitious designs of the reigning King and his sycophants. 

The Edict of Nantes, issued by Henry IV., April 15, 1598, was but a hollow 
truce, continually broken by massacres and unjust impositions, though it con- 
tinued nominally in force for eighty-seven years, when the "Revocation" was 
sent forth to pubhsh to the world the shame and dishonor of a great and powerful 
nation. The evil influence behind the throne in bringing about this infamy was 
Louvois le Tellier, "the evil genius of France'' — "Louvois le Terrible, whom all 
men hated," yet "the greatest war minister of history." His cruelty inaugu- 
rated the fearful Dragonnades, and his work was followed up so unsparingly by 
persecution and banishment, that the year 1685 came to be fitly called "the era 
of the depopulation of France." The danger menacing the nation was met by 
a decree forbidding emigration under heavy penalties, and the poor hunted 
victims were forced to live in utter seclusion in their homes, or driven into dens 
and caves of the earth. 

Among those who left France innnediately after the Revocation was Louis 
deRousset. It does not appear that any other members of his family went with 
him into exile, which constrains us to believe that as a family the deRossets were 
not Protestants. Louis writes, in an extant letter : "I left France because I would 
not be made a Papist of" — implying that family pressure may have striven to 
keep him in the Roman obedience. 

His wife's family were Protestants, but his parents died before his marriage, 
and we know not whether they were of the "new" faith, or whether his conversion 
was due to the influence of his wife and her people. 

It would naturally be supposed that among so numerous a family others of his 
kindred, if of the same faith, would have accompanied the lonely exile. But 
history tells us that families were divided one against another then, as in all 
times of civil and religious wars. Separation from those we love is one of the 
bitterest of the trials of the sufi^erer for conscience sake. 



Page Twenty-Two 







Ciimmission of 












LouiJ deRouffti 








a, C 


aptam in the Regiment or 


.\ 


Hva 


rr^- 


Signed 


by 


Louis XIV.. Feb. 18, 


A. 


D. 


lfc74 




.1 V A' A L S OF THE D E ROSSET FAMILY 

of fit her leaders, to fight the good fight of a true Faith against ecclesiastical 
ryfiivsru and |:S5>litical despotism; for political antagonism and ambition, rather 
ihar: rdigioiis z? al, was the r^al motive power of aU that warfare and persecution. 
Edicts and ctmnter-edicts were promulgated to suit the temper, or to advance 
thfc ;j.!tere«h- as-d MxMtUma designs of the raign'mg King aisd his sycophants. 

"i'hv EdJrt of Nantes, issued by Henry !¥., April 15, 1598, was but a hollow 
trace, aHilJsraalJy l>K>ke5J by massacres mid unjs.8st imposiitions, though it con- 
tra ued Ui>nnnmh hi foree for nghij-se^'ett years, when the •'EeviKmtio-ij-' was 
sent fort) sotM the sh<u«e m\d dishonor of a great and powerful 

n&tior; ;,;..; a^g t|jj.oa<j yj bringing about tiiis infamy was 

Li;iVv.ii- f Frfmr»''---''lxO«vois Ic T'-'xrWUc. whom all 

inan hAt<ydJ' ^'tl "ihf- gw-iiM^ miK af history." Hu enjeity inaugu- 

■mri l\iv> ^vork vvas followed up so unsparingly by 

,t tr>' -t-i 1685 caR«e to b? fitly called "the era 

'" ; r nwaacing the nation was met by 

^ v^ ^ s >v.-^-j tis<isr nf;svy penalties, and the j>oor hunted 

^. tter seclusion in their homes, or driven into dens 

r^, '' >• "ho 'c t ^),>rrftrf^s^m^sT>«:liate!y after the Eevocation was Lwjiis 
Kstu'-set ft d'se^i n('^,*^j(|i fl[5t,t!ii^^iy other mensbers c f his family went with 
him nto exile, whi^Jvscte^s^iSiHJSsflUijHionbfjflyiligry'b^'t as a fan ily the deRossets were 
not ^'rote.sinii^.' ffc:.A-5 Wri<l**. iV!lXii«iiiiJl!r*t( !*tk«rrf "I left '. '"ranee because I would 
5s of gy '■■i. ' idf a F-'ipi:-: ' ?! ol"' - — Hiinlyin^,- Hint family prp<;-;nitf may have striven to 
Icw.p him i?i the Homan ol)edienee. 

Hi- wife's fariiily v.-er? Protestants^, !mt his parents died before his marriage, 
.;.«d v;-< bsow !jo!. 's-htther they were of t!ie "nevi-" faith, or whetlier his eorivergi<^ 
wa§ <,!«& to the Inilucnca of his wife and her jjeople. 

It would nat'^rr'diy be supposed that ^^mimg^ so aujnermis a family others of his 
kifKirod, it i.'f the saine faith, %imM bAve mrcnmp&nmi the ioavly exile But 
history' tells us that famines were divided one against another then, as i» all 
fcisji^s of civil ««sd relig-ioJiS ^-ars. Separation from those we love is one »f the 
hittei'/s-t of the trials of tbi sufferer for conscience sake. 



I' age Twenfu'Two 




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ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

LOUIS deROUSSET. 

16'i5*-1725. 
The Huguenot Exile. 

Louis deRousset, born (approximately) in 1645, was the son of Louis de- 
Rousset, Docteur en Droits, and the Lady Catherine de Moynier, de la Ville 
d'Uzes. He married (by contract of February 10th, 1671) the Lady Gabrielle 
de Gondin, also of la Ville d'Uzes, daughter of the late Philippe de Gondin and 
Lady Anne de Fontfroide. The said Anne de Fontfroide was the daughter of 
Maitre Antoine de Fontfroide, Treasurer of the King's domain in the Sene- 
schaussee de Nines, and the Lady Catherine de Cassagnes. 

We learn these facts from the original marriage contract, wlaich is still in 
possession of the family. In it Louis is called "Nobihssimus" and also "Capi- 
taine ;" he could hardly have been less than twenty-five years of age at that time. 

This document is of exceeding value and interest, being the only source of 
information of the facts just related. 

It tells that the marriage of the said Sieur deRousset and Gabrielle de Gondin 
was "ordained for the glory of God and for the increase of the human race," that 
it was to be solemnized in the afternoon, in the so-called ("pretendue") Reformed 
Church of which they are both professors ; and that "the banns should be pub- 
lished according to the prescribed order of that Church." Then follows the 
pre-nuptial settlement, upon Gabrielle and her children, of certain properties 
and monies given to her as dowry by her grandmother de Cassagnes, who 
seems to have been the fairy godmother of the young couple. So they set out 
on hfe's voyage with every prospect of happiness and prosperity; enjoying 
advantages of social rank, refined society and surroundings, and endowed with 
wealth suitable to their station. 

But the demands of military service were exacting, allowing little time for 
domestic peace and quiet. Already a Captain, he was doubtless soon called back 
to his post of duty, and three years later, February 18, 1674, we hear of him in 
the Regiment of Navarre as Captain of a company of Lancers (see his Commis- 
sion, signed Louis). Tradition tells that during his long absence from home — 
perhaps twenty years — his wife became totally blind. When again re-united, 
she refused to recognize the husband whom she had so long mourned as dead. 



*A11 dates marked with an asterisk* are approximate. 
Page Twenty-Three 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

until touching on the tip of his ear a hairy mole, her doubts vanished, and with 
excess of joyful recognition, she fell fainting in his arms. 

In 1676, a friendly letter from Cardinal de Beusy is addressed to him at 
Pynerol Savoy ; and in 1677 he writes that he "went to Sicily." These letters 
are extant, and though only detached items, are indicative of continuous service 
and absence from home. 

At length. May 2d, 1685, came the Revocation, and Capt. deRousset's exile. 
With many of his brother-officers, he fled to Holland. Commissioned by the 
government he joined the forces of William and Mary to fight in Ireland the 
battles of Protestant succession for England, and fortunately was assigned to 
the command of his old French General, Frederic Armand, Due de Schomberg, 
himself a Protestant exile.* 

A passport has been preserved, dated Lisbume, January 16th, 1689, and 
signed by the great Schomberg — whose autograph lends interest and value to 
the document — giving leave of absence for the benefit of his health. With 
hundreds of others of the army, he had suffered from fever in the marshes of 
Dundalk, after the siege of Carrickfergus, in 1689, when nearly half of Schom- 
berg's command died. 

The famous battle of the Boyne was fought July 1st, of the same year, 1690. 
Here the noble, the good, the brave, Schomberg was killed. We can hardly 
estimate the grief of our Captain at the loss of his beloved friend and general. 

In the family archives is preserved an autographical letter from Frederic, Due 
de Saxe, dated February 11th, 1702 — a personal friendly letter, which, with 
others from men of high degree, shows how highly Capt. deRosset was regarded 
by the great men of the period. 

The numerous French names mentioned in these papers tell how largely the 
army of Protestant England was recruited by Huguenot refugees who followed 
their brave old general. 

Nothing more is known to us of the military life and service of Capt. deRosset. 
It would be interesting to some future one of his name to search into the Army 
records of England if perchance further information might be obtained. 

At Doctors Commons, in the "Private Acts" (II. Anne, Act II.), is this record. 



*Frederic Armand, Duke of Schomberg, after winning celebrity in the Armies of France, 
became Minister of State, under the Elector of Brandenburg. He then tooli service under 
William III. of England, was created a peer, made Knight of the Garter, and obtained a grant 
of £100,000. Was killed at the Battle of the Boyne, July 1, 1690. Lisburne is in Ireland, about 
ten miles southwest of Belfast. The name of Dr. Armand deRosset suggests a possible relation- 
ship between his family and that of the Duke. 

Page Tumty-Four 



■ n -''-^ 



I 



C >"rnT\ti ^- ■ or i'^ 

L'.>i!;> JeRosset 

^v CapTarn in tiic EnehsVi Arm> 

bit;ntd by W'liliam ai Orange. April 1 A. D i t-.<9 



r-.. \ 



\ 



ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY 

;• :'^ louehjng on ibe Up of his ear a hairy mole, her doubts vanished, and with 

, ;<-v- V'i joyful recognitioM, sh« fell fainting in his arms. 

hs IfViS, a friendly letter frmvi Cardinal de Beusj is addressed to him at 

Pj?>,en>i Savoy ; and in 167'T be writes that he "went to Sicily." These letters 

are f^.tiint, and though only sletachsjd itera*, are indicative of continuous service 

j^s^d • ■ ?ro?R hoRi 

A; , M&y S<: ^'S, «d C"apt,. dteB^ssset's exile. 

Vi'^u-i ms-m ©I' hh h H:dkin!i. Vommhm<m<sd by the 

the (xtinnmnd of Ivjs' ol«5. Fri-m' mberg, 

himself a Protestant exile,* 

A psssport has been pjx;5«r?«:i (ktesl January I6lk> 1689, and 
signed by the great Schoinberg — wksss au. j,* j,. lefids iatei-est and value to 
the docarnent — giving leave of abssBce for the fe?efit of his health. With 
Irandreife of otisers of the army, he had suffered frora fever in the marshes of 
Dundalk, after ths sieg>e of Cardckfergus, in 1689, when nearly half of Schora- 
Itf^rf.- s coriMTsand died. 



T se laraoiis battle of the itovne was fought Julv 1st. o' the same year, 1690 



In 



Hers the nohle, the soQfU t^'.bf's^ve, SchoRilserg was ki 
^stiir ate the grief q^M^S^W ^ii^JS^i^f J^^« '^^«^-d 



lesl We e&jfj hardly 
f riead and g~esieral. 



the f«M*!yiawh.ivB5i,iA I^8S<fO^'4y m,ft}W>g9mlH^^^ i^'*^ ^'^ ^*'«>«^« Frederic, Due 
<le S k>.e> dated February 11th, 170^—- a persoesU frienq iv ktter, which, with 
Hlx, !-< jfoni !5>eR of high jfegrfje, sk.ms k>w highly Capt. deRosset was regarde<l 

1 - <mMty>md in the** 'p»,i»rs tell Itov/ largdy the 

sinsiT of Frotestxt>t Esgk«d was rf;cTuit€-d hy Huguenot r<?fugees who followed 
fheir brave old general. 

Nothing more i- =• " 'o 'm of the- railitary KlVand service of Capt. <kllt*sset. 
It v-xmM he mictr ^omi': future o»i> of his nauw to search i?5to the ,4ri«y 

rt^ords of Eagk«<t if pej-el>&$sce furtlwr informstiats might k; obf.^in«<i 

At Doctor--. Comi?50f^-, m tfce "'Friymi'!; Aofe" (11. Asiae, Asrt iL)i h tkk rtcard. 



''Frfxhric An^^-^mi, r>s-.h>^ s>f Ss>5v?ssb«fj-g, sftef wtanlag ssfebrity «! ttse Armses of France, 
beewas Ministe El8i*>r sf Bm«slsssb«rg. He ifeeis took service Hnder 

WiUiam HI. OS: ; i «. j>«K-:!-, jaa^e 'feighi: of ttse 0<yt«r, isjod obtuiaed a grant 

of £100,000. V/?AS kjiieij at Use Battte of tfef Bisj-ae, J ah- 1, im).. lA»hv.mf. h in Infiand, about 
r«n auiRS swsiiiwest '>f B«jfs*t llse aaaw <*f l>r, Arsrsisad d«Eossel stsggests a possibie relation- 
slap bciwe^H lijs fasisy *8d ik^t of l:fee l.>ake.- 

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ANNALS OF THE D E U S S E T F A M I LY 

"In 1708, Louis deRosset, Peter Brozet and others were naturalized." And 
still another, "In April 1725, Administration of goods &c of Ludovicus deRosset 
was granted." These could hardly have been any other than our ancestor, and 
we do not hesitate to accept the year 1725 as the date of his death. 

At some period of his exile Capt. deRosset writes a statement which he calls 
"Memoirs pour mes affaires de France." Only a fragment remains — neither 
dated nor addressed — but it is interesting as throwing light upon some points of 
his history. 

Beginning with his departure from France, he continues, "I left because I 
would not be made a Papist of." He mentions three estates he owns near 
Uzes and Nines, viz : ( 1 ) Perignan, inherited from his father's sister, "my Aunt 
La Niguiere de Janin," jointly with his Cousin deRosset de Montpelier; (2) "La 
Croix Monau," which, by his marriage contract, was settled upon his children 
and could not be sold, and (3) The "De la Croix" estate, which came to him by 
decree of the Court of Nines, after a lawsuit he had instituted against a fraudu- 
lent debtor, one Buliod, the suit being decided in his (deRosset's) favor; he 
enjoyed possession of it for four years before he left France, and his wife also 
held it three years after, when the "perfidious thief" Fourneyron seized and now 
holds it as his own, saying that "I gave it to him !" "He deprived my mother-in- 
law (Mme. de Gondin) of it, and now it is necessary to demand of him the deeds 
and rental of said land since the year 1688, less what he can prove to have legiti- 
mately expended upon it." Fourneyron, his "man of business," had also been 
his "guardian during his minority." He is clearly proved to have been both 
treacherous and dishonest in all his dealings with him. 

The mention of his mother-in-law alone being dispossessed of the estate indi- 
cates that his wife, Gabrielle, may have died before the time he wrote, or that, 
leaving her mother at their old home, she may have by this time joined him in 
England. He speaks of her as his only wife, and of her child, Armand, as his 
only son. 

Whether any of his kindred were with him at the time of his death, we do not 
know. But we believe that in the year 1725, "the strong, heroic spirit passed 
away" and "God gave to His beloved sleep." May he rest in peace in his un- 
known grave, till Christ Himself shall call him to the eternal rest promised to 
those who are persecuted for righteousness' sake ! 



Page Twenty-Five 



CHAPTER III. 

AKMAND JOHN deROSSET, I\I. D. 
1695*-1760. 

"The Father's love that led them through the past 
At length in this good land their lot hath east." 

Dr. Akmand John deRosset (1) (1695*-1T60) my great-great-grand- 
fatlier, was the Huguenot immigrant and founder of the American family of his 
name. He was the only son of the Huguenot exile of 1685, Capt. Louis deRosset, 
and Gabrielle dc Gondin. 

Of Dr. Armand's childhood nothing has come down to us but that he was a 
native of France, Province of Narbonne, of the noble house of Ucetia. That he 
was educated at famous schools of England and Belgium we are assured by the 
testimony of his medical diploma, still extant. It is dated December 3, 1720, and 
was received from the University of Basel, Switzerland, one of the celebrated 
institutions of learning in Europe. The great seal of the University is still 
attached to it, enclosed in a metal box, and it is signed by the chief authorities 
of the University — John Conrad, Bishop of Basel and Chancellor of the Univer- 
sity, John Buxton, Rector, K'c. ; is witnessed by John Henry Stechelius, Professor 
of Anatomy and Botany and Dean of the University, and attested by John 
George Schatzmaun, Notary. The graduate is styled "the most noble" and 
"most learned" "Master Annandus deRosset," and it avers that he was judged 
worthy to be admitted to a degree in ]Medical Science and to be honored with 
the title of "Doctor." 

iMy brother-in-law, Maj. Daves, when travelling in Europe a few years ago, 
turned aside from the route he was pursuing to visit the University of Basel. 
He was cordially welcomed by the faculty and was gratified to learn that Dr. 
deRosset's name was still held in honored remembrance and that his thesis was 
preserved in the Library. 

The date of his birth is not known, therefore we can only guess at his age at 
this time. He married in Switzerland a "Lady of the noble house of Ucetia" 
(the modem Uzes), who, being of the same family, was probably a kinswoman 
and, like himself, a Huguenot exile. It is certain that they returned to France 
after he had graduated, for their two eldest children, Gabrielle and Louis Henry, 
were born in Montpelier. 

Page Twenty-Six 




Dipkma in Mediiiiic .jl 

Arinand J. JeRosset. M. D.. 1. 

D.V. :>- A D. 1720 







CHAPTER III. 



AEMAND JOHN deHOSSET, M. D. 



At Ss-, 

D«. AsMAND JoRK i>i«Ro»sET (1) ( 160.5* -iTtN)) iTsv great-great-grand- 
fat tier, was the Hujfvienot '(KS'-sgrsKt snd fo'inder <sf ^fe*' Arnsrk-an faTXiily of his 
Oiiow. f!e 5*as Ihs? ovih »^xa af tise Hag>s«;?jt- cs:ik of l#Sd, (.'ajH, lAfuk deEosset, 
and {Jabrielk- <k Gonchn. 

Of Dr. Annmul's childhood nothing has come down to us but that he was a 
a&ii«« of Fra.r,sx», Fsxn'bfift of N&sIx>jiths of the noble house of Uc^tia. That he 
w«? s;duc&t«^d nt f&isous schools of England and Belgium vre are assured by tlie 
t'/rstiioonj of his medical diploma, still extant. It is date<l December 3, 1720, and 
WAS rgoeive; ^ i'vu^ i ', j j ; ^ UuJ^WMJv <jf Bass.!, Svv! ! i ' s;y !arjd, one of the celebrated 
iostitutioBs 
attached to 
of the Univ 
.sity, John I 
of Anatoir.y 
George Schatzmaun, Notary 



of iearniiig j^^^j|;^.j|jej^ji;|sp great s<|i 

!U']oi«»d Ja a metal .box, and it i 
irsity — iJolm Conrad, Bisnop of aasel ahd 
u.xtoo, Keoror, &:c, ; iS w>ines.seii bv ..font; 
and Boctti i V and DvAi\ of the Unive 



il of the University is still 
f^ed by the chief authorities 
Chancellor of the Univer- 
Henry Steeheiiu.s, Professor 
•sity, and attested by John 
The graduate is styled "the most noble" and 
"most learned" "Master Annandus deRos.«et," and it avers that he was judged 
worthy to be admitted to a degree in Medical Science and to be honored with 
the title of "Doctor." 

IMy brother-in-law, Maj. Daves, when travelling in Europe a few years ago, 
f-i-rned aside fror.i the roisfe he wa.s pursuing to Vi-n. t.he I'.niversiiy of Ba.sei, 
lie was cordiixiiy welconietl by the faculty and was gratifsed to iearn that Or. 
deRosset's name was still held in honored renu>rnt)rance and thiat his thesis was 
{ireservcd in the Library. 

Th.e date of his birth is n-rt known, therefore we ca?j only guess at his age at 
this time. He married in Switzerland a ''Lady of the noble hous na" 

(tire modem Uzes), who. being of the same family, was probably a kinswoman 
iin<l, like himself, a Hisguenot esik;. It i.s certaia that they returned to France 
after he had graduated, for their two eldest children, Gabrielle and Louis Henry, 
were born in Montpelier. 



Page Twenty-S'w 



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■H ^ V- 
G M Q 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET F A M I LY 

He was called to England probably at the time of his father's death, and in 
London, December 27, 1726, his youngest son, Moses John, was bom. 

It is not known what circumstances led Dr. Armand to come to North Carolina. 
The tide of Huguenot immigration had well-nigh ceased, but many friends of his 
father from the North of Ireland had come by that time, and may have induced 
him to join them in the Cape Fear Colony. At any rate, about 1735, with his 
wife and their three children, he arrived in Wilmington, then a small hamlet 
of some forty families, called New Liverpool.* At once taking his stand as a 
public-spirited citizen, alive to the best interests of the Province, and educated 
far beyond the standard of his fellows, he held positions of trust and honor in the 
town councils, and practiced his healing art for the good of the community with 
skill and profit. Grants of land were assigned to him in various parts of the 
Province, and he became a large holder of real estate in the town and county. 
Being a devoted member of the Church of England, as his father must have 
been (since no record of his name exists in the Huguenot Church in London), he 
threw all his energies towards the establishment of St. James' Parish and Church, 
leading in every effort to build it on a sure foundation for the spiritual welfare of 
his own and succeeding generations. He and his sons have been well called "the 
founders of St. James." Truly does Lord Bacon say, "The planting of a new 
country is among the most heroic works of man." 

So, in the strength of the trustful legend of their own escutcheon, "In Domino 
Confido," these Roses of Provence were transplanted to the sunny shores of Caro- 
lina, where the "lovely lady of Ucetia" was to become the mother of many 
descendants. May they, each in his own life, maintain the noble principles of 
their forefathers who "sought a better country, even an Heavenly." Emulating 
their virtues and following their blessed examples, may they ever bear in mind 
the proud motto so justly theirs by right of inheritance — "Noblesse Oblige." 

Dr. DeRosset fixed his residence in Wilmington on Second street, between 
Market and Princess ; it was afterwards occupied by William Hooper, the 
signer of the Declaration of Independence. 

Madame deRosset was a lady of education and refinement, and of remarkable 
beauty of person and loveliness of disposition. Her portrait in oil, with others 
of the family, was among the few treasures brought from France and hung 
in grand-pa's house many years. Being much defaced by time and travel, they 
were consigned to the attic waiting the opportunity for restoration, but during 



•Wilmington was incorporated in 1739 by Governor Gabriel Johnston and named by him in 
compliment to his friend and patron, Spencer Conipton, Earl of Wilmington. 

Page Twenty-Seven 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSS ET F AM I Li- 
the troubles of tlie civil war they finally disappeared. Grand-pa's likeness to his 
grand-father was said to be striking, and the lovely features of "Ucetia"' were 
reproduced in those of her beautiful great-grand-daughter, "Polly" Toomer. 
In 1746, the brave, sweet wife passed into the rest of Paradise, and was buried 
in the grounds of her home (there being as yet no church-yard), where years 
later the partner of the joys and sorrows of her troubled life was laid beside her. 
Grand-pa has told us that in his childhood he played under an apple tree which 
shaded their graves. April 13, 1751, five years after the death of his wife. Dr. 
deRosset married a second time. The lady of his choice was Elizabeth Catherine 
Bridgen, a native of Bristol, England, and daughter of Samuel Bridgen, of Lud- 
low Castle, Onslow (then New Hanover) County. She was an intimate friend of 
the Burgwin family of the same place, and sister of Edward Bridgen, of the firm 
of Bridgen & Waller, a commercial house of Bristol and London, which in 
Colonial times had extensive business interests in the Province. She was a woman 
of superior education and intelligence and great strength of character. Her 
masculine will dominated that of her good husband, whose fiery temper she 
ruled in a way that would have been foreign to the nature of the gentle, courteous 
Lady of Ucetia. She long survived him, and after his death retired to her 
country seat, "the Chinese Temple," adjoining "the Hermitage." Politically, she 
was a "Tory." Some of her letters have been preserved, and though they have 
no bearing upon our family history are worthy of being recorded here as interest- 
ing pen and ink sketches of Colonial life in the time of the passing of the Royal 
Government. 

An anecdote of this lady I remember hearing is this: She had a remarkably 
fine figure, but was very homely of feature. One day walking on the street, her 
stately mien attracted the attention of a drunken sailor, who for some distance 
staggered after her, with many demonstrations of admiration, until, as she 
entered a store and for a moment turned, the spell was broken and he hiccoughed, 
"You were an angel to follow, but you are a devil to face." Imagine the irate 
lady's disgust and indignation at hearing the unwelcome truth from such a 
source ! 

She had no children, and died in 1778 of malignant fever at her summer home 
on Masonboro Sound. 

Colonial Records of North Carolina, Vol. VL, page 335, tell that, in May, 
1760, the Council assembled at Newbern appointed the successor of Dr. A. J. 
deRosset as Justice of the Quorum for New Hanover, "he being deceased." 

His three children, Gabrielle, Louis Henry and Moses John, survived him. 



Page Twenty-Eight 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

GABRIELLE (deROSSET) duBOIS. 

1722*-1755. 

Gabrielle, only daughter of Arniand J. deRosset, M. D., was born in Mont- 
pelier, France, in 1722,* and died in Wilmington, N. C, March 29, 1755. 
She m. November 2i, 17-H, John duBois, 1707-1767 (his second wife). 

duBois and Walker. 

The duBois family were Huguenots of Rochelle, France, who fled at the time 
of the Massacre of St. Bartholomew (1572) to Holland, when Domine Petrus 
duBois was a clergyman of Amsterdam. His son, Gualthemus (Walter) 
duBois, b. in Stief-Keerk, July 20th, 1671, was called to the pastorate of the 
Reformed Church in New York in 1699, and died there at the age of eighty 
years, in October, 1751. Known as "the old Domine," he was so greatly beloved 
and so universally respected that he is said to have been more like a Bishop 
among the Dutch churches of his day than the Pastor of a single congregation. 
He married Helena vonBaal, and had, among other children (who left no known 
issue), Johannes or John, who m., as stated above, November 24, 1741, Gabrielle 
deRosset. They had five children, of whom (1) Magdalene, (2) Louis and (3) 
Moses, died in infancy, (4) Armand John, m. Magaret, daughter of his uncle, 
Isaac duBois, and died without issue. He and his wife are interred in the 
cemetery at Newburg, N. Y. The fifth child, Magdalene Margaret duBois, 
b. February 19, 1755, d. November, 1827, m. January, 1770, Capt. James 
Walker (1742-1808), third son of Robert and Ann Walker. 

The families of deRosset and Walker are closely allied by repeated intermar- 
riages through successive generations, resulting in ties of kinship and affection 
to the present day. 

Robert Walker, of Portaferry, Ireland, was a near kinsman of Rev. George 
Walker, "the fighting parson of Londonderry," who was killed at the battle of 
the Boyne (1690). 

Robert ni. Ann Montgomery Shearer, of the Montgomery family of Mt. 
Alexander, and in 1738, with his wife, two sons and numerous I'etainers, emi- 
grated to Wilmington, North Carolina. He was a prominent citizen, held the 
office of Lord High Sheriff of New Hanover County (then a large tract of 
country), was Justice of the Court of Appeals, &c., &c. 

His children, born in Ireland, were: (1) William Montgomery, a citizen of 
high repute and honor in the community, and (2) John, who m. in 1762, Mary, 

Page Twenty-Nine 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

daughter of William and Margaret Espey Lord. He was her fourth husband 
and the father of her six children — among whom were Mary (;\Irs. Vance) and 
Ann (Mrs. McDonald), from whom are descended many of our most valued 
kinspeople. Mrs. Walker m. a fifth time, George Meek, lived to a good old age, 
and is remembered as "old Aunt Meek.'' (3) Margaret Walker (1728-1785) 
m. in 1755, Louis Henry deRosset, King's Councillor — they had no issue. (4) 
Ann Walker (17-iO-l) m. May 6, 1773, John Quince and had issue among others 
Mary, who m. Col. Archibald F. McNeill. (5) James Walker (1742-1808) m. 
January 18, 1770, Magdalene Margaret, dau. of John and Gabrielle (deRosset) 
duBois. Issue (1) James W. (1770-1838) m. Mary Jane Toomer, (2) Harriet 
(1784-1815) m. Edwin Jay Osborne, (3) Louise M. (1788-1855) m. Gen. 
Joseph G. Swift, U. S. A., (4) Julius Henry (1793-1827) m. Mary W. McNeill. 

FRAGMEXTS OF OLD LETTERS OF MRS. ELIZ. CATH. deROSSET TO HER FRIEND 
AND NEIGHBOR, MR. JOHN BURGWIN, OF "THE HERMITAGE," THEN IN 
ENGLAND FOR HIS HEALTH. 

Chinese Temple,* Aug. iotli, 177j. 

I wrote you the other day by one Capt. Arthur. He intended sailing for London; but Mr. 
Hogg sent him to Plymouth. I gave him a letter and packet for my brother. I enclosed your 
letter (open) to Mr. B. and begged him to direct it to you wherever you were — in London, 
Bristol or Bath. Whither the man has gone I cannot say, as I think he had not a fair wind. I 
wrote to no one else but you and my brother, but by this conveyance I shall write to everybody, 
as the Lord only knows when an opportunity will be given again & it seems to me I am taking 
my last leave of you all. 

Mr. Grayhamf has got the fever and ague, but is now taking bark — like Mr. Burguin himself I 
How does the lame leg do? Is it easy? is it strong? is it so civil as to let you bear any weight 
upon it? is it glad it is in the "great Beehive?" 

We have very little sickness as yet among us & no deaths. Mr. John Quince it is generally 
believed has a grave-yard cough, and will soon go the way of all fiesh. I think he has been going 
the last fifteen years I The Court of Admiralty I mentioned in my last was held at Brunswick — 
out at the FortJ. The man gave £300 for his vessel — the thing was too plain to make a dispute. 

The Gov.§ is still on board the Man-of-War, & Mr. Hasell, his Lieut., sticks by him. They 
have intercepted many of his letters & memorials sent about to induce the back-country people 
to take up arms. But his conduct, it is said, has been so extraordinary that it has united the 
people & had a quite different effect from what he intended; & all the Companies that were at 
variance with one another now muster together & are very friendly — or very deceitful. The 
Artillery Co. joined the Independents & they perform their exercises together — this is what the 
gentlemen tell me, & I must always depend on some of them for intelligence. 

Capt. McLaine (who, by the way, is an ensign) is going to carry his wife & himself up the 
N. West. He speaks such things as are disagreeable to the people & his friends, I believe, wish 



*Mrs. deRosset's country seat, eight miles N. of Wilmington, adjoining the Hermitage. 

fMr. Grayham was Mr. Burguin's plantation manager. 

ifFort Johnston, at the mouth of the Cape Fear — Smithville then, but now Southport. 

§Martin. 

Page Thirty 



/ 



i 






\ 



\ 



W/ 



?/ 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 



(iaiighUr of WiHiani and Margaret Espcy Lord. He whs her fourth Imsband 
and thf tatjief oJ iter six children — among whom were Mary (Mrs. Vance) and 
Ann (Mrs, McDonald), from whom are descended many of our most valued 

k;nspe«-pk, Mrs. Walker m. a fifth time, George Meek, lived to a good old age, 
and k reKU'mbered as "aid Aunt Meek/' (3) Margaret Walker (1728-1785) 
m. in 1755, Louis Henry deRosset, Kir;^'- ("ouiKillor — they had no issue. (4) 
Ann Walker (17M)-1 ) ui. Ma? 6. 1 and had issue amoner others 

Mary. v( li« n-- 'H) ns, 

J anuary ' * . . ^ v 

duRois. 



i s/,yy- liiHt 



*Vi <■! 



Gen. 

VV. McNeill. 



■erosset to her fhiend 

ft HEKMiTAGEr THEN IN 



v.* Aug. S5t»i, 177.'j. 
I «r;ste v«>i> SIse c*?i<^ 4«y s^-? «« C«»*. t^Hissir. Ms for I^iuion; but Mr. 

iyts«?j {aj«K'j to ;r!?-, P, img xnigpni. ate to di?^«^ it Hi ;^^;ii '^!'«5?a'/ev ymi wes-e— ir. I^ndoTi, 
Bi-iji: H or Bath. Vihiiher the jean has gone I <-&&nx:-i aay, iij; J tliink he lusd aot a My wiwd. I 
wrotf to no one else .^U^IJ'^jysmj^v biotbf?r»Jkiit^bi^his cosiveyuuoe J .%h«li write iu everybody, 
as th- Lord only knows when an opportunity will' oe given again & it seems to me I am taking 

M? Orayhfiinj feis gftt tbe fever siii!^ ^sgae, but is! aow iakiag bark- -like Mr. Burguin himself I 
no's' -ifv.^'^ »!i.-> Inm,' s.<>p liit'J js i t Rssvr is it stronf ? is it so civil «s to let you bear any weight 
v!-po-i! St.? i,'! St g'sd ki is in ttx! "gr<mt Bedsix'e?" 

We have very iitUe sickntes' as yet atnong «*• & ho de»th», Mr. John Qoinoe it i.s generally 
bt'Sii'vaii hsiJ a grave-yard <-oagh, und will sooa g« the way of aU flesh. I think he has been going 
the iiiit ftf teen yearj ! Iti!,' O-y'.ni of ;\d?<ar«iity I ■aiSvAim',<;<i hx my IpM w«s held at Brunswick — 
!>Sit Sit the F-ssij. Th* «:.%« gTsv, • ->h« thissg was too pisiin to make a dbtjute. 

The <.K>v,| is iiii,J !>« i»sr« t! ^JasieU, hifi Lieut., st5<'k-s hv hixn. Tb«y 

have intercepted xasny os' ■ ^ 

to ta?M lip antis. P';' hi-- :'i* 

|>?ti»k & hasJ a - ^?t at 

ViSfi.HsiK'e vv'tR ■>;: . The 

Artillery Co. joiarf ths )> i.s what tJw 

geiitiemen teU mc; & i • 

{'apt. McLaiiie {%i * hiiu-self up the 

K. Wijst, He sps*«s ^ti5,& U!i;,.sp ,.i^- Lv;:e iiu^i^Sv. ,,-.... c .. ::,;^ , - .-^i' " i»-3 ine-SKis, I believe, wish 



•Mrs. deHo.«.set's ccmotry xani, eight stisk' 
tMr. Grayhara Wij;s Mt. Burguin's 
S.Fort Jahj!;>ti>!>, st Slse nwyth of ih* 



Vr-.lmmgton, adjoining the Hermitage. 
Ut? then, but now Southport. 



Page Thirty 



ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY 

him gone. Mr. Hogg tells me the people of Bogue did not use him ill, only some fellows on 
the road were impertinent to him. I don't know if you will thank me for these scraps of 
intelligence, but, I would if I were in your place. ♦ » ♦ It is thought Mr. Nelson's suit at 
Point Pleasant will end in matrimony— by his frequent stay there. For, as Bevill (in "the 
Constant Lover") says 'a denial is a favor every man may pretend to, & if a Lady would do 
harm to herself, she should never keep a gentleman in suspense, if she knows she can't like him." 

As Miss appears to be a sweet innocent young creature, I think she must seem to 

encourage when she disapproves, and he is too sensible to trifle away his time without some 
approbation. In general people in love look mighty silly, but I do assure you Mr. Nelson is more 
chatty and agreeable than ever — even before his Mistress ! I should not wonder if Fanny loved 
him. Do you remember how you looked when you were In love? Nay, do not give such a sigh 
or I will never speak to you again of the Ladies of Cedar Grove — they are all well — as much 
yours as ever, even the little Fanny.** Though they are still in town, & I believe have no 
great news, I do not like just now to be so far from the seat of intelligence — there everything 
is talked of — there everything is first known — & they would only be unhappy in a solitude 
where they could neither hear nor see what's doing.** 

'Tis thought Capt. Collet is gone in his (illegible) to bring in soldiers and that Brunswick 
will be there place of destination, & that on his arrival the Gov. will set up his Standard there. 
That wiU be the first fruit of burning the Fort. The iJnd Chapter I suppose will be some- 
thing of the same kind, but as yet it is in embryo. This is publicly talked of, & some things 
about it have transpired. Then we shall see who & who's together — whether its rain or fine 
weather ! 

We have prodigious crops of wheat this year, — better never known in the memory of man. 
The corn also will be very fine if these deluges of rain do not spoil it. Give my love to the two 
little boys if you are near them.ff * » • 

Mr. John Boyd — Adam Boyd's brother — talks of becoming a resident of this place, if these 
American atfairs be settled — he goes to Pl3'mouth — but talks of going to London himself — he 
is a sensible man. » ♦ ♦ 

They have made an addition of twenty men to the town watch and yard — not of men that 
are paid but gentlemen & tradesmen. The weather has been very bad and some of them 
grumble a little, but still they do it ! You can't concei\e how quiet everything is in the night — no 
robbing of stores^every negro at home in his bed & not half the drunkenness there used to be. 
"So-far-so-good!" • • • Mrs. Tom Hooper bro't to bed and her child dead. Mrs. Jack 
Walker has been carried to Mr. Harnett's house by Dr. Geckie. Mr. Lord of Brunswick talks 
of taking that just left by Mrs. Walker. Indeed most of the Brunswick people, they say, talk 
of coming up here soon, if the soldiers come in with CoUett. Lord knows what will become of 
us ! Mrs. Humphrey has her health extremely well. Mr. H. says but little, but I believe makes 
it up with thhikinii. People can't be hanged for that you know. Old "Father Time" however 
will discover every body's thoughts. I beg of you to eat some fine English peaches for me this 
summer, if it be not too late — and then tell me if they are not as good as the American. 'Tis 
a fruit I can't give up ! 

If you should see a remarkable old lady of the name of Willoughby in Bristol — a widow — 
please present her my best respects. My own sister will be quite out of your way. She lives 
in Worcestershire. I dare say you, with your lame leg, will not think of going there. ♦ * • 
May God Almighty hold you in His true keeping prays 

Yr. afft. friend & Sir, yr. obt. serv't., 

Euz. Cath. deRosset. 



**The Waddell family. 

tfGen. Hugh Waddell's orphan sons, wards of Mr. Burguin, sent to England to be educated. 



Page Thirty-One 



A N N A LS OF THE DE RO S SET F A M I L Y 

Chinese Temple, Sept. 10, 1775. 

* * ' This, I fear, will be my very last for a long time. • ♦ * J ventured same days ago 
to give Mr. Grayham some advice about your corn fields. You must know that a violent storm 
ushered in the month of Sept. it lasted a whole night & great part of next day. It begfn in 
the east and came around to X. E. with great violence. The fine promising crops of corn are 
all down within half a foot of tlie ground. Now as my experience has taught me that the 
weight of tlie top helps greatly to bend it down, I advised Mr. G. to cut them off & told him 
that the corn would soon right itself. He said that fodder he had got was ruined & the 
Hermitage was half under water — the bridges all carried off and he was obliged to go to Castle 
Haynes by water — the roads everywhere are almost impassable. This storm was a great hind- 
rance to vessels loading & they are not to be brought up again — petiaugers sinking and running 
on shore — three poor sailors drowned — no negroes lost though many in danger. * » * 

The Committee talked of pennitting the shipping Monday & Tuesday to finish their loading 
because they shant work Sunday — it being the 10th! Who more religious than our Wilmington 
folk! Mr. Hayes goes to the W. Indies — will remain there till he is permitted to return. • ' » 

Perhaps you will be surprised to hear Mr. Hogg is in England. He was one of your "non- 
conformed to the times" — & so made off. He first attempted it at Bogue, but they would not 
let him go. He then came home, mustered with the rest upon the hill, but took his opportunity 
when Capt. Arthur was ready, to go. 'Tis said he carries the Governor's despatches. 

I liegin to think your lame leg wasn't so unlucky just now. Had you been here you must 
have declared yourself of one party or the other, you must have taken your turn on the watch; 
and you must have mustered. Your property would have been very insecure — as it is the c.ise 
is otherwise. You are one of your (?) now. You cannot confess to anything because you are 
incapable. \o one will be so cruel as to harm the property of an infirm man, who was drove 
home by a dreadful accident, to get cured. I think I could plead very well in a case like 
yours. My gouty foot is lieter, & presents its compliments to your lame one. Would you 
change complaints with me? Col. Howe* says he would not. 

All the world is at Hillslraro and nothing they have done has yet transpired 1 can give you 
no information. 'Tis thought they intend to raise JOOO men upon pay, & you will come in for 
your quota of the expense tho' in England — and so must poor I, thugh their laws have 
already taken from me £96 pr. annum in the one article of cooperage, besides the loss they 
will occasion in tl\c hire of my other servants, which will lessen as the distress of the place 
increases, & I shall have no resource of any kind. StUl I have resolution to bring my mind 
to my interests, if they will but leave me the little house over my head and not frighten me out 
of my senses. ♦ * » Things must go a great way before I fly my own house, as I presume the 
moment I do so it might be pillaged. 

I forgot to tell you in its place as I designed, that Mr. Hogg has been up again to town & has 
wrote a very genteel letter to Mr. Hooper. He has also left a hundred lbs. sterling for the 
use of the public. Mr. Hogg is a very clever gentleman & may now carry as many despatches 
as he pleases. And now let me whisper in your ear; — it is a matter of wonder that Mr. Burguin 
had not done some such thing before he left, or left orders to have it done. I assure you this 
was no bad policy in Mr. Hogg — It will most effectually secure his property, and retrieve what 
he has lost with the public. Mr. Tom Hooper has lost his wife — he has come to live in my 
neighborhood at Mr. John Moore's. Mrs. George of that name is enciente again ! 

Your friends at the Lodge are very well — but so distant I never see them, now and then the 
Dr. calls, chats, & drinks small beer with me. Poor London looks mighty down upon the times 
—but don't speak. • • * * Yours, &c., E. C. deRosset. 

Mr. J. Burguin, London. 



'General Robert Howe, whose home was burned by the British. 

Page Thirty-Two 




DE FONTFROIDE 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

Fragment undated. 

The troubles arising from the "war of the Regulators" had become very alarming 
and Mr. Burguin had induced Mrs. deRosset to leave the solitude of her own house & take refuge 
at the Hermitage. She writes him thus: 

* * * "Such great events have certainly the hand of God in them, to bring about His own 
wise determination. I firmly believe that happen what will, all is designed by God's good 
providence for the benefit of the whole in some future age of the world, tho' at present 
injurious to tlie individual. And what am I, or what my Father's house that I should be exempt 
from suffering? I stand or fall with the Hermitage so far as I can judge of myself. So help 
me God! But indeed I am a coward — I never knew how much of one before this trial. I never 
wished to be a man before last month. Dr. Cobham wishes to be a woman. Had it not been 
for my cowardice I would have gone straight to Castle Haynes to live, but a thousand fears 
arose from the thought of being alone in the Country. The other day 200 Regulators— as they 
style them — came down as far as Beauford's Bridge in order to make the merchants & in 
particular Jack Moore, sell their goods cheaper. Mr. Moore went to meet them, conferred 
with them & I suppose pacified them — they returned home again. I assure you these are the 
folks I stand most in dread of. I hear that the County has come to a resolution, that if the 
Governor, the Men-of-War, or tlie King's troops destroy houses, towns or private property & 
spare the effects of the King's oflScers & servants, not a house (of the Royalists) shall be left 
standing. So perhaps I shall have the fate of the flsh that jumped out of the frying pan into 
the fire! ♦ ♦ » Mr. Tom Hooper went to Scotland in the ship with Miss Shaw & Miss 
Rutherford on his way to England. 

What a strange medley of a letter is mine! 'Tis such a pitch-patch of stuff that it resembles 
either an olio or a haggis. Call it what you please. 

I have a perfect apothecary's shop in your closet. Mr. Grayham says I shall be Doctor and 
he my mate. So if your negroes are not all killed between us, it will not be our fault. He 
wished to give Mrs. Grayham an honorable post under ms but I could not think of degrading 
a lady who has been so extremely civil to me— besides she is much too tall for such an office. 
Jlr. G. is so good as to let me use my own linen, & 'tis washed by my own servants. Though 
I don't break your family rules I drink a diih of Tea in my own chamber evert/ morning. 
"Tea!" say you, "do you have Tea?" Yes, truly I do! You must know Sir, that whether from 
sjTnpathy with the times, or not — I can't say — but certainly on the 10th Sept. 1 was taken 
very sick & indeed not only looked so, but was very ill. I thought if I could drink tea, I should 
recover much sooner, but as I did not choose to do this in private, I asked leave of the 
Committee & they gave me a very gracious permission "in consideration of my age & 
infirmities." » * « 

If I keep house, it will hurt me excessively to live in such a hospitable neighborhood as this 
& not be able to ask them to take a dinner with me." Yrs. &c., E. C. deRosset. 

To Mr. John Burguin, London. 



Page Thirty-Three 



CHAPTER IV. 

HON'BLE LEWIS HENRY deROSSET. 

1724*-1786. 

King's Councillor for the Province of North Carolina. 

Councillor deRosset. 

Copi/ of commiss^'K.in to Leu-is Henry deRosset, appointing him n member of the Council under 

Governor Dobbs. 

By their Excellencies the Lord Justices. 

Tho: Cantuar: Granville P. Gower C. P. S. 

Marlborough. Anson. 

We being well satisfied of the loyalty, integrity and ability of Lewis deRosset junior Esqr. 
do hereby in His Majesty's name direct & require you forthwith upon the receipt of hereof to 
swear and admit him the said deRosset junior to be one of His Majesty's Council in His 
Majesty's Province of North Carolina, in the room of William Forbes Esq. deceased, and for 
so doing this shall be your warrant. 

Given at Whitehall the tenth day of June 175-2 in the twenty-fifth year of His Majesty's Reign. 

By their Excellencies Command Claudius Amgard. 

To Gabriel Johnson Esqr. His Majesty's 
Governor of the Province of North Carolina 
in America. And in his absence, to the Commander 
in chief or to the President of His Majesty's 
Council of the said Province for the time 
being. 

This document bears on the left side Seal ivith two roses. Also three excise stamps, 11 shillings 
and 6 pence each. 

Lewis H., the elder of the two sons brought to Caroliiiii by tlieir parents, Dr. 
Armand John (1) and "tlie Lady of Ucetia," was boni in Montpelier, France, 
about 1722 and was given the name of his grand-father, Louis dellousset, of the 
French, and later of the British anny. In 1755 he married Margaret Walker 
(1733-1785), whose brother, Capt. James Walker, became later the husband of 
Louis' niece, Magdalene M. duBois. His letters bear ample te.stimony to his 
tender love and affection for her. 

Mrs. deRosset died in 1785, and Louis H. deRosset, her husband, died Feb- 
ruary 22, 1786, in London, England, an exile in 1779 from the Province. They 
had no issue. "LTncle Lewis" being the elder son was the head of the family. 

Page Thirty-Four 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

and after the death inl759 of his brother, Moses John, he was its sole representa- 
tive in pubHc affairs. 

The Colonial Records of North Carolina bear witness to the value of his ser- 
vices. In 1751 he represented Wilmington in the House of Burgesses at Newbern 
— serving on important committees with men of distinction. He was Chaimian 
of Public Accounts for years, and Justice of the Peace ("Quorum") appointed 
by the Council. In 1752 he was commissioned Member of the King's Council, 
under Governor Gabriel Johnston, which office he held under successive Governors, 
"until the end of the Royal Government, discharging at different times some of 
the most important offices." In 1754 he was appointed Commissioner "for 
stamping and emitting the sum of 40,000 pounds publick bills of credit." In 
1761 he resigned the office of "Receiver General of His Majesty's Quit Rents in 
the Province." (John Rutherford was appointed his successor.) 

"Honorable Lewis deRossct was Adjutant General on General Hugh Waddell's 
Staff in the war of the Regulators in May, 1771." 

He was also Lieut. -Gen. of Provincial Troops under Governor Tryon in 1768. 

As a Member of the Council and of the Assembly his intelligent activity for the 
interests of the Province is abundantly shown. He seems to be ever on the alert 
to obtain some advantage for his own section, though equally thoughtful for the 
general welfare of the State and constantly introducing bills for internal im- 
provements of all kinds. As witness the following: A bill for leave to build a 
Church of St. James' Parish ; for regulating the exports of the Cape Fear ; for 
appointing inspectors in New Hanover County ; to petition the Postmaster Gen- 
eral to establish a Post Office in the Province; to establish quarantine at "The 
Fort ;" for leave to build a Church at Brunswick and for appointing a committee 
to receive subscriptions therefor. 

These are only a few of the objects he had at heart for the good of Church as 
well as State, and which he was largely instrumental in securing. 

As a Christian, he was reverent and devout ; as a Churchman, loyal in spirit 
and active in good works. Following in the footsteps of their father, he and his 
brother, with their kinsmen of the Walker family, were prominent among the 
founders of the Parish Church of St. James. As a man of noble type, of strict 
integrity and high sense of honor, he commanded the respect and esteem of all 
who knew him. He had been fortunate in his mercantile ventures and was, 
besides, a successful planter on a large scale, so that before the Revolutionary 
troubles began he had amassed, for those days, a large fortune. Devotedly 
attached to his own family, they in turn regarded him with tender affection, and 
when the times that tried men's souls came, tearing asunder kindred and friends. 

Page Thirty-Five 



ANNALS OF THE D E li S S E T FAMILY 

tliey felt no bitterness at liis decision, nor ever in after years uttered a word of 
blame that he had clung to the Royal cause. They knew that he grieved at the 
oppressive measures of the British Government and that his sympathies were with 
his kindred and fellow-citizens of the oppressed colonies. And they only could 
understand the (perhaps over-scrupulous) sense of honor that kept him loyal to 
the King, to whose service he had long been bound by repeated oaths of allegiance. 
We now can see his great mistake, but we can at least appreciate the con- 
scientious devotion to duty, as he saw it, which led to such sacrifices as he made. 

Happy in his home, honored and beloved by family and friends, rich in this 
world's goods and in possession of all that men hold dear in life, what a struggle 
there must have been between all these on the one side and the consciousness of 
duty, honor and integrity on the other ! Yet he accepted the sacrifice, and in 
1779 was banished by the Province on pain of death if he returned. His letters, 
further on, tell the story of his later years. The record of his death and place of 
burial for nearly a century was unknown to us until discovered by my brother 
Louis. He died, as has been said, February 22, 1786, and was buried in St. 
Andrew's Church-yard, Holbom. 

There is an element of tender pathos in the story of this good man's life. 
Exiled in early childhood from his native Province, with loss of all worldly 
possessions, his later years saddened by war and strife and banishment, losing 
again home and kindred and fortune, his life was ever tempest-tossed. Even in 
death his poor body could not rest in peace, for when the great London viaduct 
was constructed, St. Andrew's Church-yard was invaded and the sleepers in 
God's acre were removed to parts unknown. 

It was probably during his stay in England, 1782-'86, that the French Gov- 
ernment tendered to him the restoration of the family titles and estates on condi- 
tion that he would return to France and to the Roman Church. "The offer was 
of course rejected," says my grand- father (his nephew). It was at this period 
that Louis XIV., under the kindly influence of Neckar, offered concessions to 
Huguenot exiles under these conditions, and in 1787 he signed the "Edict of 
Toleration," restoring unconditionally the status of the Huguenots. 

At Doctors' Commons was found the following record: "November 27, 1787, 
Letters of Administration with will annexed granted to Thomas Younger, lawful 
attorney for Jas. Walker, Armand John deRosset and Armand John duBois, 
nephews of the deceased and sui-viving executors." Mr. Younger gave bond to 
the Archbishop of Canterbury in the sum of 10,000 Pounds Sterling. 

This would seem to indicate that his means were considerable ; he was granted 
the indemnity for which he petitioned the Government for losses sustained because 

Page Thirty-Six 



ANNALS OF THE DE HOSSET FAMILY 

of his loyalty ; but it is very certain that little of his legacies ever reached his 
nephews, both of whom were minors at the time. Uncle Lewis was, indeed, a 
whole-hearted Englishman ; his memories of his native land were embittered by 
wrong and sorrow, and England had sheltered and honored his grand-father in 
his exile. 

He changed the French spelling of his name to its English fonn, "Lewis," 
and he even refused introduction to a French officer, serving with the British 
Army during the occupation of Wilmington, who claimed to be related to the 
deRossets. 

Through all his life, so full of trial, trouble and temptation, his integrity 
was always his pre-eminent characteristic. Upright and honorable In every 
relation of life; true and just in all his dealings with his fellow-men; loyal and 
grateful to the country whose protection had been given to his persecuted fore- 
fathers, and true to the Faith for which they had suffered, his name has come 
down to us as the synonym of truth and honesty and righteousness of life — while 
those who knew and loved him best revered and treasured his memory till one by 
one they were called to join him in the Eternal Home of God's Saints. There 
may they all rest in Peace, and may Light perpetual shine upon them. 

The following documents and letters relating to the latter years of Councillor 
deRosset's life are almost illegible and fast falling to pieces ; it is thought best 
to preserve them here for the information of future generations: 

Copy. — Memorial of Louis H. deRosset for Indemnity for losses &c., dated 1783. 

"To the Honble. the Commisioners for the examining into the case of the American Sufferers — 

The Memorial of Lewis Henry deRosset late of North Carolina Humbly Sheweth That your 
Memorialist was sworn in a member of his Majesties Honble. Council for said Province in the 
year 175:^, and continued in that station until the late Rebellion there put an end to his 
Majesty's Government in North Carolina, and he begs leave to refer to the Certificates of 
their Excellcs. Genl. Tryon and Govr. Martin, the last two Governors of that Province, for 
the manner in which he behaved himself in that station, and in general for his conduct as a 
faithful & loyal subject. 

That your Memorialist from the first took an open and Decided part in favor of the King's 
Government. 

That in 1779 your memorialist was called upon in consequence of an act passed by the usurped 
Government to renounce his allegiance, and take the Oaths to them, and on refusal of which 
all persons so refusing were banished from the Province, on the pain of death if they returned; 
But your memorialist cheerfully preferring his Duty to God and his Sovereign refused to take 
the Oaths— 

In consequence of a clause in the said act permitting persons so banished to sell or carry off 
their Estates or effects, or leave them subject to confiscation, your memorialist under these 
disastrous circumstances was compelled to dispose of his Estate in such manner as he imagined 
might best tend to His and His Family's support, and accordingly sold a great part of his 

Page Thirty-Seven 



A N N A LS OF T H E D E R S SET F A M I LY 

Estate at whatsoever lie ooulcl get (Which in his distrest situation must have been much under 
the real value) and with the money arising therefrom, he purchased a vessel, that he fitted 
out at a great expense, and loaded with Toljacco, Indigo and Staves, and sailed from Cape 
Fear Kiver the last day of April 1779 with an intent to proceed to England where, from every 
information, the said A'essel and Cargoe must have produced aliove eight thousand pounds 
sterling — The remainder of his Estate, consisting of some lands. Slaves, Money, Debts, and other 
effects, to the amount of above two thousand Pounds Sterling more he left in the hands, of 
persons he could confide in for the support of his wife, whom he was obliged to leave behind 
him — 

That your memorialist on his Voyage was on the American coast three times captured, the 
last time by an American Privateer, and carried into New London (Conn.), where he was 
deprived of his vessel and everything he had on board, and sent thus plundered and stripped 
to New York, so that a total loss of that part of his I'^state was the consequence of his refusing 
to renounce his Rights and Allegiance as a British subject — 

That after your memorialist arrived in New York, he there waited until Genl. Clinton sailed 
to South Carolina, when he went in the same fleet, and soon after the taking of Charleston 
was, through the recommendation of Genl. Tryon and Govr. Martin appointed in May 1780 
by Genl. Clinton the principal Commissary of prisoners at that place, in which situation he 
remained until the evacuation of Charleston took place, when he had no other resource but to 
come with the Fleet to England.* 

That your memorialist begs leave to inform you, that great part of the interest he left for 
the support of his wife in the hands of confidential P'riends in North Carolina, has been 
greatly pillaged and plundered, and that a person in whose hands he left a considerable sum 
of money has so much suffered by persecution, that it is hardly possil)le he can get repayment 
thereof — Thus that part of his Estate he left in North Carolina he can get but little of — 

Thus situated after a loss altogether of at least ten thousand Pounds Serling, your memorial- 
ist finds himself destitute of all means of support and provision — 

Your memorialist therefore humbly begs leave to submit himself and his case to your 
Honor's Consideration in full confidence that you will be i)lcased to recommend him for such 
relief and support as he may be entitled to. 

And your memorialist as ever in duty bound shall ever pray. — 

Lewis H. deRosset. 



*An incident relating to this period and illustrating the strict integrity of his uncle is thus 
related by my grand-father. 

"While he was Commissary of Prisoners in Charleston during the Revolutionary War, a man 
— sup])osed to l)e a gentleman — called and offered to relieve him of the arduous duties of that 
office, guaranteeing to him the full amount of his receipts therefrom, reserving to himself only 
such perquisites as he could derive from it. My uncle turned on him with indignation for sup- 
posing him scoundrel enough to accept such a proposal, saying that however laborious his 
duties might be he would continue to perform them, rather than put it in the power of so 
unprincipled a fellow to cheat his King or the poor prisoners, which was obviously his 
intention." 

Page Thirty-Eight 







DE CASSAGNES 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSS ET FAMILY 

Copy. — Memorial of Lewis Henry deRosset to the British Government for half-pay for ser- 
vices during the Revolutionary War, dated July 7th, 179-1. 

"To the Right Honble. Lord Sidney, one of His Majesty's Principal Secretaries of State, 
&c. &c. 

The Memorial of Louis Henry deRosset humbly sheweth — 

That your memorialist was sworn a Member of His Majesty's Council for the Province of 
North Carolina in America in 1753 and continued as such whilst His Majesty's Government 
existed in that Province^during which time he discharged some of the most important offices 
there. That your memorialist from the first refusing to join the Americans in their unnatural 
Rebellion was forced to leave the country and his family and with what of his property he 
could bring away sailed from the Cape Fear the last of April 1779 and on his voyage was 
talsen by American privateers and carried into the New England Provinces where he was 
deprived of all the effects he had with him, to a considerable amount, and thus plundered was 
sent from New London by Flag of Truce to New York, where he arrived in June 1779 and 
there remained until Sir Henry Clinton sailed from thence to attack Charles Town, where your 
memorialist went in the same Fleet thinking it his duty to give every assistance in his power. 

That your memorialist soon after the taking of Charles Town was by Sir Henry Clinton, 
appointed the Principal Commissary of Prisoners there, in the execution of which office he 
continued until the evacuation of that place, when he was obliged to come to England with the 
Fleet, having by orders from Genl. Leslie sent all the Books and papers relative to his office 
to New York. 

That your Memorialist begs leave to represent that his Pay as Principal Commissary of Pris- 
oners was twenty shillings sterling per day exclusive of rations, &c. and that he was paid at that 
rate to the last day of Dec. 1783 by Genl. Leslie, but from that time he has not received any 
further pay. All the different officers and deputies in your Memorialist's department were paid 
up to the same day, of whom there is at present but one in England, namely Mr. Robert 
Cooke, who was Sir Henry Clinton's appointed Deputy Commissary with a salary of ten 
shillings per day. 

Lastly, your Memorialist trusts that your Lordships will be pleased to take his case and his 
unhappy condition into your serious consideration, and that you will from his long services, his 
great and heavy losses, and the zeal and integrity with which he discharged the important office 
of Principal Commissary of Prisoners at Charles Town, think him justly entitled to be put on 
half pay, that he may be enabled to support the remainder of his life with some degree of 
comfort, after all his losses, misfortunes and fatigues. 

And your Memorialist in duty bound shall ever pray &c. &c., 

(Signed) Lewis H. deRosset. 

July 7, 1784. 

This note is appended to this paper by Mr. deRosset himself: 

"The above copy of my Memorial together with Governor Tryon's letter of Recommendation 
to Lord Sydney I delivered at the Secretary of State's office on the 7th July, 1784, when I was 
desired to take them to Col. Delancey with the following endorsement: 

"Mr. begs Col. Delancey will consider the subject of the enclosed and if proper, 

to insert Mr. deRosset's name in the list of Provincial Officers for half pay." 

In a letter dated in Aug. 1785 Mr. deRosset writes, "I have just obtained the grant of 
half pay." 



Page Thirty-Nine 



A N N A LS OF THE DE HO S S E T F A M I L Y 

Copies of the Certificates of Governors Tryon and Martin: 

"I have read the annexed Memorials of Mr. deRosset who was well known to me during the 
.six or seven years that I was Governor of the Province of North Carolina, and who I have since 
seen in New York, as mentioned in his Memorial, and I have much pleasure in certifying that 
from the intimate knowledge I have of his principles both in public and private life, and the full 
trial I have had of his Loyalty and attachment to His Majesty's Government, I have no doubt 
but that the several matters and facts set forth in his Memorial are strictly just and true. 1 
must further add, in justice to the opinion I entertain of the superior Worth and Merit of Mr. 
deRosset that I believe no man has a more equitable and honorable claim than himself, to the 
Favor and Consideration of the Government as a loyal American sufferer, and that, as such, he 
has my fullest and warmest Recommendation." 

"Given under ray hand in Upper Grosvener Street this i?6th day of February, 1783." 

(Signed) Wm. Tryon." 

J. A. No. 2. 

The Recommendation of Governor Martin: 

"To All Whom it May Concern: 

"Having perused the Memorial annexed of Mr. Lewis Henry deRosset I have no scruple to 
declare that I consider it a very modest representation of his case, although I cannot take upon 
myself to judge of his loss of property, as I can of his Loyalty and sufferings. I have the 
fullest persuasion, from tlie general integrity of his character, that his estimate is strictly just 
and honoral)le; as was all his conduct in puhlick and private life as far as my knowledge goes, 
and in all the report of the County in which he spent the greater part of his life — Borne 
down by misfortunes brought upon him by a virtuous attachment to His Majesty and the 
British Constitution at an advanced age, he seems to me a gentleman most highly deserving of 
the Favor and Consideration of the Government, and as such he has my sincerest and warmest 
Recommendation. Signed Jo. Martin. 

"New Norfolk St., March 1st, 1783." 

J. A. No. 3. 

PRIVATE LETTERS FROM LOUIS HENRY deROSSET TO MR. JAMES WALKER, 
WILMINGTON, ON CAPE FEAR, NORTH CAROLINA. 

London, Aug. nth, 1785. 
Dear Sir: — I want words to express to you my feelings on the receipt of your letter of the 2nd 
January, informing me of the unexpected death of my dearly beloved wife. You may easier 
conceive than my words can convey the bitter anguish of my soul on this mournful information; 
the more unexpected the more poignant I felt the force of the fatal stroke that deprived me of 
the best of wives whose tender affection I had experienced in every circumstance of life. To 
say she was the faithful Friend, the chaste Wife, the cheerful Companion, and that her honest 
breast was an enemy to deceit, would not do justice to her great Merit; but possessed of these 
and of all other virtues which I knew from long experience she possessed in an eminent degree, 
had so endeared her to me that I fully enjoyed every conjugal Felicity during the thirtv 
years I had the happiness of being with her. When I was forced to leave her the separation 
was cruel and the unhappy days that I have passed since that time a continued scene of trouble 
and confusion; nor could I have a prospect of happiness until we could have met together 
again in peace and quietness. It was for this purpose that I applied to obtain half-pay in 
order to have enabled me to support her with some degree of decency, though not with that 

Page Forty 



ANNALS OF T HE DE HO S S E T F A M I LY 

affluence I could have wished for. But I knew that with lier prudent management we could 
have gone through life here in peace and content. 1 had juht obtained the grant of half-pay 
and only waited for an opportunity to take advantage of the summer season, when she might 
naturally expect a pleasant and speedy passage, to embark to England, when your letters by 
the "Castor" came to hand the 10th of April, which at once put an end to all my pleasing 
expectations of returning happiness, nothing now but an horrid gloomy prospect succeeds to 
my flattering and delusive hopes. Thus are the wretched mortals in this life ever subject to 
disappointments. It is my duty as a Christian to submit to the Divine dispensations — the 
draught is bitter and I must swallow it, but I cannot say I do it with the Resignation I ought. 
No! my dear, my best Friend, my faithful Companion is gone, and I shall ever whilst I have 
being lament my irreparal)le loss, — neither time nor place can remove her dear Image from 
my mind; there she is perpetually present and the only pleasure I enjoy is to think of her 
pertpetually. I have no douljt that through the Merits and Mediation of our Blessed Savior, 
she is received into the Mansions of Eternal Felicity, and I pray to God when He thinks proper 
to remove roe from this transitory life, I may there with her enjoy eternal Happiness for ever 
and ever. Amen. 

I lament the affliction your Mother must feel in the loss of her valuable Daughter, and would 
gladly contribute everything in my power towards alleviating her grief. Pray remember to 
inform her that I bear her the most cordial respect and shall always venerate her as the Mother 
of my dearest Wife. And be pleased to assure Mrs. Quince that I shall ever retain the 
affection I always had for my Wife's nearest relatives. I sincerely thank you both for the 
attentions paid to your deceased Sister and I am much obliged to you for your care in having 
her buried with Proper Decency, — for no cost ought to have been spared to shew the Esteem 
and just Regard due to her great Merit. I should be glad, if possible, to have my bones laid 
with hers when I die. 

On the 14th last month I received your favors per Mr. M'Guire. I should desire that what 
effects my dear Wife left, may be disposed of in the following manner: Her clothes and wear- 
ing apparel Mrs. Quince and her Mother will dispose of as they may judge proper — if they are 
worth their keeping, it will give me great satisfaction. I should be glad if three of the 
Rings:— I mean the Wedding Ring, the Mourning Ring for my Father, and an old French 
Diamond Ring given me by my God-father who was a relative, may be sent to me by the first 
opportunity. The other Rings, Buckles and all other Trinkets I hope your good sister Mrs. 
Quince will do me the favor to accept of. All the plate, a small trunk of which I left with 
Mr. Roger Smith when I left Charles Town to send to my Wife, I hope Mrs. Quince will take 
care of for me until I give further directions. There are six large Family pictures which want 
fitting up and repairing; I shall be glad to have them sent over here when I can tell what to do 
with them. In the meantime I hope Mrs. Quince will take care of them for me. If there is any 
of the household furniture Mrs. Quince may choose, I desire of her to accept of them — the 
rest dispose of as you judge proper. Of the Printed Books, you will be pleased to accept of 
such as you may choose and the rest do as you please with. I must beg of you to search 
among my papers for an old French Mem. Book of my Father's, that did belong to my 
Grand-father. In it are several of his memoranda — my Father's marriage to my Mother and 
the birth of all their children. It is a narrow paper book, covered with blue or brown paper. 
I thought I had left it with your Sister and had desired her to send it to me, but she could not 
then find it. Pray make a diligent search for it, and forward it to me, as it may he of some 
service to me, and can be of no consequence to any body else. 

All my Account books and all my papers of every kind be pleased to have properly secured 
until I give further directions. 



Page Forty-One 



A X N A LS O F T H E D E HOS S E T F A M I L Y 

I should be miK'h oliliged to Mrs. Qiiime if she would be pleased to send me some of ray 
Wife's hair, that I may have a few mourning Rings made. I suppose the confusion she was 
in made her forget it before now. 

London, Oct. i6, 1785. 
To Mr. .las. Walker. 

Dear Sir: — As I think a safe opportunity offers for N. Carolina, I embrace it, as I hope this 
will from thence reach you in safety and serves to enclose a copy of my letter of Aug. 17th, 
which I wrote to you by the way of Virginia and I flatter myself may by this time have 
reached yon. I fully trust that you will observe my directions in the several matters mentioned 
in the aforesaid letter, and further that you will send me an inventory of the several things my 
dearly beloved Wife left behind her — and I hope that you will liy no means omit disposing of 
them as I have directed. 

In your account which I have desired you to forward to me, pray be as particular as possible 
that I may be fully acquainted of everything in your hands. The amount of the moneys I 
left in your hands in April 1779 was above 6,000 Pounds. You also remember 600 Pounds you 
received from Mrs. Heron afterwards for a Lot I sold her before I came away, but I never had 
any account of the Corn, Pease, Hice, Provisions, Tools and many other things I left on the 
Plantation. You will therefore include them, as also, Xcgro hire. Before Mr. Quince had 
agreed to hire the Negroes in 178;? my Wife told me you had received the hire of some Negroes 
(men) yourself, lieforc that time especially the whole of the hire of Virgil to some person 
up the North West, of which none came to her hands. You will also include the whole of the 
hire of the Negroes to Mr. Quince, and charge what my Wife wrote me she had received, to 
the amount of about eight Pounds, your money. She said she had only left for her own use 
, and this was confirmed to me by Mr. Quince himself, but he said that you your- 
self had hired some of the Negroes and was to pay their hire, and as to those he had in his 
own employ, he sliould pay for them when he returned as it was not in his power to do it 
here. 

Poor Mr. Parker Quince died here I think the begiiming of Fell. last. I believe the dis- 
order that caused his death was an ulcer in the bladder. I went to see him a few days before 
he died — he did not then think he was in any great danger, but a few days afterwards I heard 
he was dead. He made his will before he died and left his Uncle Mr. John Quince his 
executor here, and I am told, his Wife, Mr. Fredk. Jones and Mr. Callender executors in 
America. As a copy of this will is sent to North Carolina, and must have got there before 
now, you will see bow he has disposed of bis effects, — in the mean time Mr. John Quince has 
qualified here. 

Soon after I received your letter I went to the City to make enquiry of the several matters 
you mention. I saw Mr. Kensington at his own house and he informed me that the proceeds 
of the Cargo of the "Castor" did not net but between three and four hundred Pounds 
Sterling. A loss of course must ensue that no profits that can be made on goods from here 
can compensate. He told me that a great deal of the Indigo was very bad, naval stores low, 
and though Bounty was given it was not an article that would bear freight. The only thing 
that had answered was the Reeds (?) so that I imagine the best way would be to purchase 

proof of ? the Country to be paid there. .-\nd indeed Credit in America is 

very low here, the Merchants not choosing to trust their property where they are not sure of 
recovering their debts. If there was a Commercial treaty open between this Kingdom and 
the American States, perhaps Credit in some measure might be restored. But I am apt to 
believe it would lie with great caution, for many traders from here have by their American 
connections been ruined. 

Page Forttj-Tico 




DE GON Dl N 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSS ET FAMILY 

Mr. Kensingston also told me that the Savannah, which was lately arrived, was unloading 
and that he had directions from both Mr. John Quince and Mr. Grey to put her up to sale, — so 
that you will see her no more. 

He also informed me that the Guinea Scheme was at an end; that a vessel intended for that 
trade and to have been sent to your house was ordered to be sold, and nothing more would be 
done in the matter. 

As Mr. Eyres is dead I have not had an opportunity of knowing what agreement he had 
made with Mr. Quince; all that I could find out was that he was to have been concerned in it. 
I think you can have no expectation of any Guinea-men and as I suppose you will receive 
letters from Messrs. Kensington & Cunningham you will have full information on all matters. 

I should be glad to have a copy of Mrs. deRosset's will;* Mr. Bridgen cannot find the one 

*The widow of his father. Dr. A. J. deRosset. 
you sent him. I cannot tell where to find a residence in my distracted condition. Had it 
pleased the Almighty to have prolonged the life of by Dear, ray faithful Wife, the darling of 
my Soul, I could have been perfectly content and happy with her in a Cottage, but without her 
a palace would have no charms. God knows best what will become of me! All I can say at 
present is that 1 shall stay about this City until I can have a hearing before the Commissioners 
for Compensation for my Losses. Therefore continue to address your letters to me to the care 
of Messrs. Bridgen & Waller, in Lovell Court, Pater Noster Row — and I pray let me hear 
from you as often and as fully as you can. 

Remember me with the firmest aflFection to your Mama, to your good Sister Quince, your 
Wife, your Son and all your connections. I congratulate you on the birth of your daughter 
and I hope she will be a worthy imitator of the virtues of her dear Aimt. 

Adieu for the present, and be assured that I shall always retain the warmest regard for all 
my Wife's relations and that I am with sincere esteem Dr. Sir, 

Yours &c., Lewis H. deRosset. 

P. S. Gov. Martin desired me some days ago to forward a Mem. for one Willett who lives 
about Lockwood's Folly relative to an orphan Niece of his whose Father died at New York 
and the Gov. took care of her. I enclose the mem. 

Pray oblige me so far as to have it safely delivered to Mr. Willett that he may give direc- 
tions to his Niece. 

As I suppose Mr. Mallett has long since paid his debt and that half the balance due from 
me to Mr. Wichely's Estate has been paid to Miss Wichely according to my desire. If she 
Is yet in your State and will take out proper letters of administration, be pleased to pay her 
the remainder of the balance due from me to her Father's Estate and take from her a full 
and sufficient discharge and deliver to her all the Books, Accounts, Patents, Deeds, &c., 
belonging to the Estate. They were always kept by themselves and therefore give no trouble. 
Let her be paid to her satisfaction and an end put to this miserable business. 

A number of years ago I renewed a power of attorney from Mr. Henry Lowther of Hurdle- 
ston near Rells in the County of Meath, Ireland, by virtue of which I administered on the 
Estate of Samuel and Joseph Woodward and from a mem. I made when I left North Caro- 
line, there is a balance due from me of one hundred and seventy-seven Pounds ten Shillings 
and one Farthing old Proclamation money, the exchange not above 80 per cent, on Sterling. 
I have not heard for some years past from Mr. Lowther, tho confusion of the times may 
have prevented him from writing, or perhaps he may be dead. In his last letter to me he had 
left it to myself to remit as I thought proper but being afraid if any consideralile loss should 
attend a remittance I might be blamed, I intended to have paid him here if I had got safe, but 
losing everything it became impossible. As perhaps some letters from him (in case he is dead, 
from his Representatives) may have come to your hands pray remit the amount of that sum 

Page Forty-Three 



A X N A 1. S OF THE D E li S S E T F A M I L Y 

according to any directions they may fiave given, and in case no directions have got to your hands, 
then write to Mr. Lowther and let him know you are ready to shi]) ttie balance due to him agree- 
ably to his orders. The account is in my old largest account hook. I must not forget to inform 
you that I left an old mahogany Desk belonging to the Woodward Estate, not included in the 
above balance, let it be appraised or sold and the amount added to the balance and remitted with 
it. I beg your particular attention to these matters, and let not my Character and Credit Suffer 
through neglect. 

I cannot tell what to say about tlie moneys that may be in your hands, but I think it will 
be best, until the opportunity may offer of remitting, (which I hope you will be able to do 
soon) that it be put out at interest on good security that I may be sure of getting it when I 
want it — and pray send me l)y first opportunity a full and perfect statement of the amount 
that I may know what I have to depend on. I must insist on Mr. Jenkes paying the 
Sterling money according to his note in your hands, together with interest from the time it was 
due. He may send me a Bill of Exchange on England for such a trifling sum. 

As to my legacy from Mrs. deRosset's Estate as Mr. Bridgen promised to pay it here when 
he could get remittances from Carolina, all I beg of you on this subject is to press Mr. Koger 
Smith to remit without loss of time. This you can certainly do as your name is mentioned in 
the Bond and are the only qualified executor of Mrs. deHossefs will. I greatly counted on his 
complying with his agreement, but by no means stop any money of the Estate on my account 
as my Attorney, nor as such give any discharge for my Legacy. 

What Mr. London's motives can be for not having delivered you Mr. Smith's bond, as I 
expected he would have done long ago, I am an entire stranger to, — it is a mystery I cannot 
pretend to account for. Mr. Bridgen expresses great dissatisfaction at not having received 
answers to several letters he wrote you. He has lately had a letter from Mr. Atwood of New 
York, informing him that by your desire he sent a Power of Attorney to Mr. M'Lain to recover 
a Legacy from Mrs. deRosset's Estate, at which he is greatly surprised, and I am afraid 
entertains feelings no way to your advantage. Pray then write him fully and send a state- 
ment of your accounts. You will also not forget what debts due to me you have collected, 
especially Capt. Fishers, which must amount to at least Five Hundred Pounds Sterling; and 
the amount of Mr. Mallett's note, which Mr. Quince told me you had received. In short let 
the account be particular and full, and the balance due me to the time of making out the 
account be clearly ascertained, that I may know how to make my will by disposing of my 
property in such manner as I may think just — for I want to consider my Wife's relations as 
well as my own. 

My situation continues the same as it was when I last wrote you. My great, my irreparable 
Loss oppresses my Spirit, and my dearly beloved Wife's image ever present to my mind, 
banishes every other idea from me. Let me hear from you as often as convenient, and don't 
forget to send by different conveyances. I shall only add that I have had no letter from home 
since that by Mr. McGuire, though several vessels from North and South Carolina have 
arrived. 

My best respects wait on your Mama and your good Sister. I wisli I could hear from them- 
selves. My love to your family and to all your relatives, and be pleased to remember me to all 
my enquiring friends, if I have any with you; for as 1 have had no letters from any I 
almost think they have forgot one who has always respected many worthy characters that he 
had the pleasure of being acquainted with. 

Be assured that 1 am witli truth dear Sir Your very affectionate and humble servant, 

Lewis H. deRosset. 



Page Forty-Four 



CHAPTER V. 

MOSES JOHN deROSSET, M. D. (1). 

Dec. 27th, n26-Dec. 25th, 1767. 

''The Patriot Mayor" 

Moses John, the younger of the two sons of Dr. Armand J. deRosset and 
"the lady of Ucetia," was born in London, December 27, 1726 (St. John's Day). 
He was a lad not ten years old when his father emigrated to North Carolina, but 
it was from him that sprang the now numerous family of his name. 

Of the childhood of Dr. Moses John little is recorded. The marriage of his 
sister, Mrs. duBois, in 1741, followed by his mother's death in 1746, left him to 
his father's sole care. It would interest us to know whether he was educated 
at home under the paternal eye and tuition, or had been sent to England, as was 
the custom in Colonial times. At any rate, his able and accomplished father 
must have taken care that opportunities for study and manly development should 
not be lacking. Tradition tells us that his democratic spirit was early mani- 
fested, and that he often shocked his father's aristocratic prejudices. One of 
his youthful escapades, though not in itself vicious, led to serious consequences 

for himself. He had become enamored of a certain Miss B , a very 

respectable girl, but of social standing far beneath that of the deRossets. Such 
a mesalliance was a terrible calamity in the minds of aristocratic Colonists, and 
to avert it his father deemed it necessary to send the youngster away from the 
scene of temptation. So he was put on a ship as supercargo and sent on a 
long sea voyage, to cool his ardor and repent at leisure for his indiscretion. 
Poor fellow ! he was cruelly punished, for the ship was captured by a Spanish 
or Algerian privateer, and for two years he was not heard from. Of his 
imprisonment and sufferings nothing is now known, but, whether by release or 
escape, he finally appeared in Boston, stripped of all his possessions. There he 
was most kindly received by Mr. Thomas Campbell, brother of his father's 
friend, Mr. William Campbell, of Wilmington, and being furnished with funds, 
clothing and all things needful, he proceeded on his way home. Thoroughly 
cured of his boyish "aifaire du coeur," he found his lady-love already married to 
one more suitable to her own station. His father's heart and homo were ready 

Page Forty-Five 



A N N ALS OF THE DE li S S E T F A M I L Y 

to welcome the prodigal son, who soon devoted his energies to the study of medi- 
cine, and Ijecame an exemplary citizen and successful practitioner. 

His first word of public service for the Colony was on January 7, 1754, 
when he was commissioned Captain in the North Carolina Regiment commanded 
by Col. James Innes and Lieut. -Col. Caleb Grainger, which was sent to aid Vir- 
ginia against the French and Indians. (Col. Records, ^'ol. V., Pref. Notes, and 
Vol. XL, p. 235.) 

These were the first troops raised by any Colony for service outside of its own 
borders. A fact to be remembered among many others creditable to North 
Carolina, and yet persistently ignoi-ed by United States historians. This was 
more than a year before the arrival and defeat of Gen. Braddock, in 1755. 

Dr. deRosset was for many years a County Commissioner, and member of the 
Board of Aldermen of Wilmington. The records tell that he headed the list of 
petitioners for tile improvement of public roads in New Hanover County. 

Of the public spirit of Dr. deRosset and the hold he had upon the confidence 
and esteem of his fellow-citizens, we have ample proof in his being called to fill 
the important and honorable position of Mayor of the town at a serious crisis in 
its history — January, 1766. The Board of Aldermen from whom Dr. M. J. 
deRosset was elected Mayor was composed of John Sampson (then Mayor), 
Marmaduke Jones (Recorder), Wm. Dry, Cornelius Harnett, John Lyon, Fred- 
erick Gregg, Caleb Grainger, Daniel Dunbibbin, Arthur Mabson, Moses Jolm 
deRosset, John duBois and Samuel Green — the most eminent men of this section. 
(See City Records.) 

The Stamp Act troubles were rousing the inhabitants on the Cape Fear to 
a sense of coming danger; the landing of the stamps at Brunswick in November, 
1765, had been successfully resisted by the prompt and gallant action of the 
people of New Hanover and Brunswick Counties untler the lead of Col. John Ashe 
and Col. Hugh Waddcll. Surely it was a remarkable tribute to a man of a 
profession so peaceable and apart from political strife that he should have been 
called to an office demanding not only the exercise of ordinary virtues, but 
qualities of intellectual and administrative ability. The history of that period 
tells us that the Doctor was faithful to his trust, and justified the choice of those 
who had so honored him. 

And here I would emphasize the fact so grossly overlooked by our his- 
torians, viz : that it was in the Cape Fear Colony, Province of North Carolina, 
that the first open, armed resistance was made by the people to the hated Stamp 
Act. It was on February 28th, 1766, eight years before the nmch-lauded "Bos- 
ton Tea Party" of disguised men in the darkness of night — in 177L The 

Page Fortij-Si.T 



.m'^y^^f^",^, , ■,„i^^ 



St. Pl,:lir', 



m^xmmmm 



immmmmmmsmiimmMmMmi^y 



^ 0F rM.i; D£ 



t -i Mil. X 



Ui viirk-omi' i\K pr-'Hiigal sosu who swjn devoted his energies to the study of medi- 
s.'UH^ aiul l:?ee&me an exemplary citixen and successful practitiojier. 

iiis first word of public service for the Coiony was on January t, 1T54, 
when be vras conimissioiu'd Captain in the North Carolina Regiment commanded 
by Col. Jansfs Innes and Lieut.-Col. Caleb Grainger, which wa.s sent to aid Vir- 
ginia against the French ar.d Indians. (Col. .lii-corife, Vol V., Prei". Notes, and 
Vol Xi., p. ma.) 

Thase %'er« six? ir«t \x(xsm, rmmA \w &rsv- Colon'/ for :•*«?-««> oHi'.Hi<k' of it.-? own 
hor-brs,. A f»ci to ls« 



r>? 



«r. «teflfs«set 



Bo;. 



and cst«en> of hi.s fellow-citixeu.s, we hax^e a3.apk> |j 
th.e i;:r<|»rtant arid honorable position of Mayor -;;f 'k\k. 
its liistfiy¥-rrrj-^«i.u^ rv i 1 76<> TliP Knnrd ^f Alrjf.rnv<-i. 



■ftdence 



l&yor was 



:>,mpos«i 



sssit WHS elsH^tsxl , ,- ,.,..j,,., 

i^auke iSMi^Aai&2^$?\^?^"fy?, Cor*e 
e regg, i::>imf'mMgW:iMy Dunbibljin 
* -t, John (hsFiois mH "^QnmA Gr«'(s— iiie 
ty .B.et;ordii, ) 



lohn Sampson (t.be« Major), 
slsu* Harnett, John Ljon, Fred- 
!i, x\rt}mr Mabson, Moses John 
most einiisent men of this section. 



tK'ltOSS 

Marajs 
crick (' 

< I'.-II.OS.'S 

The Stamp Act iroabfes were roiising the inhabitants on the Cape Fear to 
a sense of conang danger; the laading of the st^imps at Brasvswiok irs November, 
176o, had l)een successfully n^siste<:l by the prompt and gailant action of the 
pet)ple of New Hanover and Bnsnswick Conntie, under the lead of C!o3. John Ai«he 
*i,nd Col. Hugh WadddL Sarely it wm 

pfofessiors so peaceable and apar^ , D-:;:! 

u?s, but 



called to an offict^ detnanding is' 
qualities of intelleetwi^l ami 'uhiix^i 
fell.* us that the Docbyr '«$,» faiihfa 



i the cbaice of those 



«■]-., 



had so honored hins. 



And here I would e:mjfh».sm-- Vpa- fAet «> grossly over!<x>ked by our his- 
ioriajss, viz: thai it vtita m the (i><fje F«a; Cohjny., Province of North Carolina, 
iliat the first open, armed resistarsee wa.s srsade by the people to the hated Stamp 
Act. It was on February tBth, 1766, eight years before the much-hwl-.' ' Bos- 
too. Tea Parly" of disguised men in the darkiie.Hs of ajght — m = Ix- 



Page Fortp-Sit 



AN X A LS OF THE D E ROSSET FAMILY 

stamps were 7iot landed, and the Mayor of Wilmington did his part in preventing 
suppUes to be carried to the British ships ; while his military friends and com- 
patriots did their duty of resistance to the authority of the Royal Governor 
Tryon. (When will our Southland awake from her lethargy and proclaim to 
her children of to-day the noble deeds of their heroic forefathers?)* 

McRee, in his Memoirs of Dr. A. J. deRosset, saj's : "During all this commo- 
tion the jMayor sympathized deeply with the people in what he deemed their 
patriotic opposition to tyranny. He stimulated the timid, fixed the wavering and 
supported the bold." In a letter of the Town Council, to Tryon, he (the Mayor) 
disclaims any intention of disrespect to the King or his officers, and concludes 
thus: "If oppressed by the late Act, some commotion of the country seemed to 
threaten a departure from moderation, the Governor he hoped would not impute 
those transactions to any motive other than a conviction on the part of the people, 
that moderation ceases to be a virtue when the liberty of the British subject is in 
danger." 

Adds McRee: "Was not that well and nobly said.'' Was it not worthy of 
Hampden or Cobham.'' At what point in America was the Stamp Act more fear- 
lessly and gallantly opposed.'"' Truly we may be proud of our grand-sire's 
part in it. 

In 1759, being then thirty-two years of age. Dr. deRosset married Mary Ivy 
(the first Mrs. deRosset of English parentage). She and her sister Ann (who 
became the wife of James Moore, a distinguished General in the Revolutionary 
war), were daughters of a Scotch gentleman residing in Jamaica, W. I.— "a man 
of note in the plantations." ^Ir. Ivy died there, and his widow married Mr. 
Marmaduke Jones, "an eminent councillor at law," and "an English gentleman 
of the old school, remarkable for personal neatness and precision of manner, 
character and conduct." With his family, Mr. Jones migrated to North Caro- 
lina about the middle of the eighteenth century, and became for a while a partner 
in a mercantile house in Wilmington ; but soon resumed the practice of law, and 
was so eminent in the profession that he was one of the first five Judges of the 
Supreme Court appointed by the Council. He was also Attorney General of the 
Province, and in 1771 was appointed King's Councillor, but resigned it before 
the War of the Revolution. 

In one of Governor Trj-on's dispatches to the Government, in 1765, he speaks 
thus of Mr. Jones : "About forty years of age ; a resident of the Province for a 



*For the full history of this patriotic incident see Waddell's "Colonial Officer and His 
Times," pp. 73-1:39, and also the Colonial Records of North Carolina. 

Page Forty-Seven 



AXXALS OF THE DEUOSSET FAMILY 

long time, a man of culture and capacity. He was of Knightly race in England 
(that of Sir Mannaduke Wyirl), was held in high regard as a citizen and a 
gentleman, and died much respected and lamented." 

The Misses Ivy, being of gentle birth and high social rank, and, according to 
the standard of the times, heiresses in their own right, did not lack for suitors, 
and Dr. dcRosset's marriage with the elder of the sisters met with the hearty 
approval of both families. She made him an admirable w ife, took great interest 
in his professional work and study, and often, when necessity arose, rendered 
him valuable assistance. When his death, in 1767, left the community ill supplied 
with competent medical skill and experience, she used her knowledge for the benefit 
of all who asked its help. Her gratuitous practice and successful treatment of 
diseases peculiar to the climate made her a blessing to the patients, both poor and 
rich, who came to her for help, and won from them many touching tokens of 
gratitude. \'accination was then unknown, but she had learned inoculation from 
her husband, and put it to frequent use. It was doubtless from the lancet of that 
"venerated Mother" (as he always called her), that her boy — the "dear old 
Doctor" of the next century — received the virus that rendered him impervious to 
the dreaded scourge he had so frequently to deal with in his long practice. The 
mother's skill in surgery was also not to be despised, for on one occasion when this 
same dear boy had broken his collar-bone, it was her ready help that repaired 
the injury. 

Dr. deRosset built and resided in the dwelling still standing on the N. E. corner 
of Market and Second streets. Here his children were bom, of whom two survived 
. — his daughter, Magdalene Mary, bom February 2nd, 1762, and our dearly 
beloved grandfather, Armand John (2), born November 17, 1767.* 

It will be remembered that Dr. deRosset and his elder brother, Lewis H., were 
not of the same mind politically. The latter was still a member of the King's 
Council, while the patriot brother was using all his energies for the better inter- 
ests of the Colonies. 

But his useful and beneficent career was not to last till their Independence 
was accomplished. On Christmas Day, 1767, when his infant son was but six 
weeks old, he was called from this troublesome world to the rest of Paradise, and 
was buried on the anniversary of his birth (just forty-one years before), in the 
family vault in St. James' Church-yard. 

The war clouds were fast gathering and the lonely widow with her two 
orphaned children, separated by the broad gulf of political antagonism from her 
only male protector, felt that it would be wise for her and them to accept an offer 
of marriage from Mr. Adam Boyd, and in May, 177-t, she became his wife. He 

Page Forty-Eight 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

was then the editor of the Cape Fear Mercury, the patriot organ — was a 
scholarly man of Scottish descent and a native of Pennsylvania — son of Adam 
Boyd and Jane Craighead, his wife. He had been a Presbyterian licentiate — not 
an ordained Minister — but patriotism led him to join the Continental Army, 
first as an Ensign, then Lieutentant, and finally as Chaplain. He was also 
one of the Council of Safety, and of the Committee of Correspondence, with 
Harnett and other patriots. In October, 1783, he assisted at the organization 
of the North CaroUna Society of the Cincinnati, was its Secretary, and later its 
first Brigade Chaplain. In 1788 he obtained Episcopal ordination at the hands 
of Bishop Seabury, of Connecticut, and for a short time officiated at St. James' 
Church, Wilmington, but not as its actual Rector. The poor man was a terrible 
sufferer from asthma, and spent the last years of his life travelling about from 
place to place vainly seeking relief, and finally died in Natchez, Miss., in 1803, 
in great poverty. 

In the Records of New Hanover Court House, Book I., pp. 178-183, I find the 
ante-nuptial contract and inventory of Mrs. deRosset's personal property at the 
time of her second marriage. Among the articles enumerated are seventeen 
domestic servants, and a quantity of silvei-ware and household furniture itemized. 
After all, Mr. Boyd seems to have been but little help or comfort to the family, 
though his letters, of which several still exist, are full of sentiments of heartfelt 
aff"ection for "Maggie and John," as he called his step-children. In their early 
youth he had been a valuable assistant to his wife in instructing them, especially 
in Mathematics and the Classics; for this grand-pa always felt he owed Mr. 
Boyd a debt of gratitude, and never spoke of him but with regard and esteem. 

During the Revolutionary War, Mrs. Boyd and her children were often shel- 
tered at the country home of her sister, Mrs. General James Moore. As the home 
of so conspicuous an officer, it was a marked spot for the British, and was several 
times bombarded by them as a refuge for suspected patriots. 

By a singular coincidence. General Moore and his brother. Judge Maurice 
Moore, of the Supreme Court Bench, died in Wilmington during the Revolution 
on the same day and in the same house. Their father, Col. Maurice Moore, 
who, with his brothers, "King" Roger and Nathaniel, had, in 1723, re-estab- 
lished the old Colony of Clarendon on the Cape Fear — abandoned in 1669 by 
their grand-father. Sir John Yeamans, of Barbadoes. General Moore's wife, 
Ann Ivy, survived her husband but a few years. 

The times were full of privation and peril ; families would fly from place to 
place, seeking in the companionship of friends and relatives relief from danger 
and alarm. During the British occupation of Wilmington, in 1780-'81, under 

Page Forty-Nine 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

the cruel Colonel Craig, Mrs. Boyd was in a constant state of alarm ; but for- 
tunately, the slaves then, as during the Civil War, nearly one hundred years 
later, were true and faithful to their owners, and were a great source of help 
and comfort. 

One horrible recollection that remained with grand-pa as long as he lived, was 
the sight of Cornelius Harnett (the idolized patriot of the Cape Fear), "brought 
through the town, thrown across a horse like a sack of meal," by a squad of 
Craig's marauders. Mr. Hai'nett had been ill at a friend's house in Onslow 
County when he was captured. Driven before them, he had fallen in his tracks 
from exhaustion and, in an unconscious state, was thus inhumanly treated. He 
was thrown into prison and died in captivity before the Independence he had so 
loyally worked for was accomplished. 

With patriotism stimulated by such scenes, we are not surprised to hear of 
the lad, not yet fourteen, shouldering a musket and participating with the 
patriots in a gallant fight at ''The Oaks," near Wilmington. Seventy years 
later, the venerable Doctor related the incident to Mr. Lossing, who, in his "Field 
Book of the Revolution," tells the story, regretting that he could not give it in 
full, and adding, "the local historian should not fail to record it ;" but this has 
never been done. 

Magdalene Mary, only daughter of Dr. Moses John deRosset (2) and Mary 
Ivy, b. February 2, 1762, m. about 1780, Mr. Henry Toomer* (his third wife), 
and d. in 1799. 

Soon after the marriage of her daughter Mrs. Boyd gave up her own home 
and spent the remainder of her life enjoying the loving care and devoted minis- 
trations of the Toomer household. Mr. Boyd being continually absent, and the 
college life of young Armand necessitating his absence, what would she have 
done without their tender solicitude.'' She became totally blind long before her 
death, which occurred in 1798. When the news of his wife's death reached Mr. 



'The Toomers were a Welsh family of whom Joshua, with a young son, Henry, came to 
Charlestown, S. C, in 1693. Henry m. Miss Raven and left two sons, Caleb and Joshua. The 
latter m. Mary Bonneau, and had three sons (I) Anthony, (2) Henry, and (3) Joshua, and 
one daughter, Elizabeth, who married John FuUerton. Anthony was a prominent officer in the 
War of the Revolution, and the ancestor of the Charleston Toomers. 

Joshua, after the death of his wife, Mary Bonneau, moved with his son, Henry, to Wilming- 
ton. Henry's first wife was the mother of Anthony B. Toonicr, for many years Clerk of the 
New Hanover Court. His second wife, Mary Grainger, (?) had one daughter, Mary J., who 
m. James H. Walker; and his third wife, Magdalene Mary deRosset, had issue: (1) Eliza 
(Mrs. Henry T. Young), (2) Anthony, (3) Hon. John DeR., 1784-1856, (4) Lewis D., (5) 
Mary FuUerton (successively Mrs. John B. Lord, Mrs. Wm. Freeman and Mrs. Treadwell). 

Page Fifty 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

Boyd, he consoled himself by writing letters of condolence and an epitaph so 
unique in style as to be worthy of preservation. 

The Epitaph. 

This stone is consecrated 

to the noble purpose of recording 

Female Merit 

which 

for many years was known to the world 

by the names 

MARY deROSSET and MARY BOYD. 

She was singularly attentive and useful 

to the children of affliction. 

In early life she was taught, 

by an excellent mother, 

the principles of the Christian religion. 

By these principles 

she governed her conversation and manners: 

but in the latter part of her life, 

her patience and her faith 

had a severe exercise appointed them. 

She was entirely deprived of that great blessing, 

the power of seeing, 

and was crippled by a stroke of the 

Dead-Palsy. 

In this afflicted and helpless condition, 

she experienced the most faithful attentions 

of her children and friends. 

But the dutiful and aflfectionate assiduity 

of an only daughter, 

MRS. M. TOOMER, 

was such that it admits 

neither Eulogy nor ParaUel. 

Heaven pitying her affliction 

sent His messenger 

and 

called her home. 

(Perhaps it would look better this way) 

xxxxxxxxxx 

X Sent His Messenger x 

X and called her x I like the first better than 

X Home. x I did before I wrote the last. 

xxxxxxxxxx 

Blindness and pain no longer bring distress: 

To light eternal raised in realms of Joy, 
His praise, who purchased such ecstatic bliss. 

Her tongue in transports ever shall employ. 

Page Fifty-One 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET F AM 1 L Y 

.Midst pleasures ever new, which ever flow, 

Thro' endless ages that ne'er cease to roll, 
Burning with Heavenly love, she'll ever glow. 

And bliss unceasing still transport her soul. 

The epitaph was never inscribed in stone as Mr. Boyd wished for. Mary Ivy, 
in 1798, was hiid to rest in the deRosset vault in St. James' Church-yard. Her 
remains, with those of the husband of her youth, and all other occupants of that 
vault, were carefully removed to the family lot in Oakdale Cemetery. 

A mural tablet has been placed on the north wall of historic old St. James' 
Church, in memory of deceased members of the deRosset family. It is of heavy 
bronze, handsomely designed and of beautiful workmanship. In the centre is the 
family crest and motto, "In Domino Confido." Above, encircled by the wreath 
of palm branches, which surrounds the whole, is engraved, "The Souls of the 
Righteous are in the Hands of God." 

Above the crest is written : 

"In Blessed Memory of four generations of the deRosset family. Founders, 
Wardens, Vestrymen of St. James' Church." 

Below the crest: 

Amiand John deRosset, M. D., 1695*-1760. 
Louis Henry deRossett, 1722*-1786. 

Moses John deRosset, M. D., 1726 -1767. 
Annand John deRosset, M. D., 1767 -1859. 
Armand John deRosset, M. D., 1807 -1897. 

Below, underneath in the palm branches : 

"Their Name shall be had in Everlasting Remembrance." 

To these may be added the name of Col. William Lord deRosset, who in his 
generation has filled many of the same offices. After his father's death, in 
1897, he was elected to succeed him as Treasurer of the Diocese of East Carolina, 
which position he still holds. 

My compilation of existing records of the deRosset family ends with the 
eighteenth century. The second marriage of Dr. A. J. deRosset (2) to Cath- 
erine Fullerton, in 1799, begins a new era in the family history. I feel that my 
labor of love would be incomplete if I do not tell the story, however briefly, of the 
father and son who followed those ancient worthies, and whose lives come within 
my own personal recollection. 



Page Fifty-Two 




TTie DeRosfet Memorial Tablet 

It, Sr Jime- CharA 



viW((.'*v<'.''.<s.«<- «<.«««w<V(Wrt';««tt* ' 



A N N ALS OF THE DE EOS SET FAMJ L Y 

MisSsS pksstt?«s sfet new, wfsiA <^« Sow, 

Thro' endless ages that ne'er cease to rol!. 
Burning with Heavenly love, she'U ever glow, 

Aiwl bliss uneeasing still transport her soul. 

Tlie epitaph wajsjjever inscribed Sa stone as Mr, Boyd wished for. M&rj Ivy, 
m 1798, wfis laitl to rest in the deRossct vault in St. James' Church-yard. Her 
resjiains, with those of the husband of hex youth, and all other o<JCupants of that 

A mural tablet h ' \ Si. Janses' 

Church, JB xi>.em.i>ty - It 'm. 0I te^rf 

bronze, haiKfei«ai'ly i. .,,,-., ..-,<,,,,,,,,;,, ^s. the «'ntrt is the 

famiij crest and motto, "*Itj Domino <.^«»£<lo.'* Above, &-ieirdss.l by the wre&th 
of palvji brar.elK's, which surrsmacls i\:^i whoks, is engraved, "The Souls of the 
Eightoxjvis are in the H&sds of (yfjd-" 

Abssvfi tiie erest is written: 

"i» Blessed Meniory of four gaieratioBs of t|K> ihB/f»si-i, family Founders, 
Warder) -i, Vestrytsien of St. Jain* -*' 

Below thf 



.■■ lH,n)^ I 



Moses 4i4i!i04i*Safst«i M- 0-» 
Annajid John deRt>sstt, M. D., i1 



[9. 



-1767. 
-1869. 
-1897. 



O i 



mn 



Beloj*', underneath ins the paha brasiches : 

"'Their Name shall be had in Everlastiag Eemembrance." 

To these may be added the nante of Col. WilKam Lord deRosset, who in his 
generatior! has filled many of the sai?5« ofBces, After hi« fatlver's thidh, m 
1897, he wfus ekK-ttd to siiet'efxl him ss Tre^«5U-er of tk- Dinsjese j>f E^4 Carolina, 
wliieh position he still hok-ls< 

My compilation of ?- - - ■- ---'^ ' "-'Uwm^, family ends with the 

eighteenth ctniury. Ti- A. J. deEosset (£) to^'^^th- 

4'rifie Fulk-rton, is 1791), l>egim « »»«- era in the faiitily history. I feel tl&t my 
la'oor of love wi.mM I h rsot tdl th« story, however brit?iy, of the 

father arid son who ?-;,-. .. .-•, • k>rst worthies, and whose lives come withia 

niv own pers(Hjal recofi«etios. 



?agg ^ifip~Tm> 





'r. ^'^ ^ w r^ 






1i (?> 




>v 



-1 






E 



'A 



PART II. 

Personal Recollections 



"Is it not sometKing in every day life to knoiv that one s 
parents, sisters and trotters are tigt minded, strong and true? 
Surely in suet a ttougtt ttere is incentive to a -worttier liie, 
and tow^ is ttat motive strengthened ty tte knowledge ttat one 
can react tack ttrougt past generations and nnd in all tte same 
no tie ctaracteristics. 




-^-^ 




CHAPTER 1- 

ARMAN'n JOHN t^eROSSET, M. D.. O. 

d. A mil 1. 185a 



In his autobiographical .sketch, nxy grandfather write* : 

"Though we are descended from so-called noble blood, I do aet cislia fo 
myself or for ray children ai\j eoasiderstion bejond Ibst which may be du*> i^o 
our own qualities of mind and teirt, mi& to th* exerdse of gych virtue* as adonr 
the worthy citizen and the Christian g«»lkrn»-a." 

In the dai' " in fhjs dt-tst^cr at ir ec;untr-v. the old 



i^ <^" ; ;1/M 



' ,11 .:(1:M rfsaao^sCl ^rl^L>''R?ffilA 



''d\'i 






Our "Roses sprASJi;; ; ;^yJ,JjmJ~-^^~4*t^«--**«««^-*jft — fcetnjs~gee to it that 

the J gatlier fresh gra««; aiui > 'y generatio: 



*'■ ■ T KaYe gathered in 






having reacted tiit- |Krio<i !»ad Actor-; of a?j ag? -^ 
.1, I enter upon familiar scenes ?is upon holj' ground, s(» sacrediy do I 
'5-sjnce of those Bsca asd wosiien 1 have seen and k^i^'^*!;, 
: - .',, , ,i/« hare added ix'^h. lustre to their <s?}«>st?ml i?^j>?< -="' 

•; ary f>*ti hvar? the teQd«re«'l ertKstioas of rcvei'ent love. Ah' ?f3ey 



And .' .•<-;J)S!);;-v ■-»' 

The gr.., ...... ,,...,..,. .v. ssf uisrijjsi! =;^ 

Who worked for good. ««d Sse?)* *!■>«■; 



It r* a rsotkeab'e fact that for 
s'^nsmitlesi by s single descendant. Thti 
i or jsiarrlcti and lived under othc 



was 

di«d 



'*r<<#--.>"<-f' 



>;<S!«g^g??^IM^-^f5M^i;SfSffif' 



Armand Jokn DeRosset. M. D., II 

1767-1859 



.sil 



CHAPTER I. 

ARMAND JOHN deROSSET, M. D., II. 

b. November 17, 1767— d. April 1, 1859. 

"Is it not something in every day life to knoxB that one's parents, sisters and brothers are 
high minded, strong and true? Surely in such a thought there is incentive to a worthier life, 
and how is that motive strengthened by the knowledge that one can reach back through past 
generations and find in all the same noble characteristics." 

In his autobiographical sketch, my grandfather writes : 

"Though we are descended from so-called noble blood, I do not claim for 
myself or for my children any consideration beyond that which may be due to 
our own qualities of mind and heart, and to the exercise of such virtues as adoni 
the worthy citizen and the Christian gentleman." 

In the daily struggle for existence in this democratic country, the old 
aristocratic spirit and pride may have been in a measure lost, but the "virtues 
of the worthy citizen and the Christian gentleman" we do claim to have been 
conspicuously exhibited in later generations. Let us not boast the titles of our 
ancestors ; they were their possessions, not ours. And, as Ruskin says, "Should 
we not think it better to be nobly remembered than to be nobly horn?" 

Our "Roses sprang and budded fair" in this new soil. Let us see to it that 
they gather fresh grace and sweetness with every generation. 

Thus far I have gathered up only the records and traditions of long past 
years. Now, having reached the period and actors of an age within my own 
recollection, I enter upon familiar scenes as upon holy ground, so sacredly do I 
treasure every remembrance of those men and women I have seen and known, 
whose holy, useful lives have added fresh lustre to their ancestral name, and 
left in my own heart the tenderest emotions of reverent love. Ah! they 

"Were men who did not stoop nor lie in wait 
For wealth, or honors, or for worldly state. 
Their powers shed round them in the daily strife, 
And mild concerns of ordinary life." 
The gracious influence of upright men 
Who worked for good, and kept their conscience clean. 

It is a noticeable fact that for several generations the deRosset name was 
transmitted by a single descendant. There have been sisters who have died 
unmarried, or married and lived under other names ; but when there have been 

Page Fifty-Nine 



./ .V N A L S F T HE D E R O S A' E T F A M I L Y 

two brothers, one lias invariably died without issue. Each father grieved at the 
lon£f delayed fulfillment of the pledge of his Huguenot ancestor, whose mar- 
riage was "ordained (not only) for the glory of God (but), for the increase of 
the human race." But this generation sees the hope realized, for six of my 
father's seven sons have sons of their own, who may carry on the name to 
posterity. 

Another fact worthy of remark is that for 186 years there has been an 
unbroken succession of physicians in the family, beginning with the graduate 
of Basle, Switzerland. 

Dr. Armand J. deRosset I., 169o*-1760. 

Dr. Moses John deRosset I., 1726-1767. 

Dr. Armand John deRosset II., 1767-1859. 

Dr. Moses John deRosset II., 1797-1826. 

Dr. Armand John deRosset III., 1807-1897. 

Dr. Moses John deRosset III., 1838-1881. 

This is a professional record without parallel, and its suspension in the 
present generation is much to be regretted. For 162 years, Wilmington had 
among its citizens a Dr. deRosset, if we exce[)t the period of the minority of Dr. 
Armand John deRosset II. 

The memoirs of Dr. A. J. deRosset II. were written shortly after his death, 
in 1859, by Mr. Grittith J. McRee, and leave little for me to add concerning him 
as a citizen and professional man. But my "Annals" will be far from complete 
if I do not gather up some reminiscences of his home life, and of the household 
who all loved and venerated him to an unusual degree. 

He was the first male of his name born on this side of the Atlantic. His 
was a long life, covering nearly a century as eventful as the world has ever 
known, a century of marvellous inventions and discoveries, of progress and 
development. Boni while yet our country was an oppressed colony of Great 
Britain, he lived to see the Independence of these Sovereign States, won by 
the heroism of their patriot sons — he saw the republic extend its borders by 
purchase, annexation and conquest, from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the 
frozen regions of the North to the great Southern Gulf — and passed away 



*As an instance of remarkable longevity of life it may lie noted that the lives of Dr. 
deRossett II. and his son, Dr. A. J. deRosset, Jr., covered a period of 130 years — from 
November, 1767, to December, 1897. And adding that of Dr. M. J. deRosset, born in 1726, 
the three successive lives lasted 171 years. At one time there were five members of the 

household whose lives aggregated 407 years. 

Page KiUty 



ANNALS OF THE DEKOSSET FAMILY 

just before tlie thunders of the War Between the States were to shake its 
foundations and threaten its dissolution. 

But his life entered into no strife nor turmoil. Tranquil and peaceful, 
'neath the shade of his own roof-tree, he pursued his beneficent career, winning 
the loving reverence of hosts of patients who knew him as "the dear old doctor," 
and the highest esteem and regard of the communitj' where his honorable life 
of nearly ninety-two years was spent. 

The death of Dr. M. J. deRosset I. left his son six weeks old, with a sister 
five years his senior, to tlic loving care of a young mother (Mary Ivy), a 
woman of culture, of strong intellect and of great piety and worth. 

Their father's only brother (Lewis H. deRosset), of whom we have already 
heard, was a King's Councillor who, when the war troubles came, remained 
faithful to his oaths of office under the Crown, and in 1779 was banished from 
the Province by the Committee of Safety, and died a few j'ears later in exile in 
London, England. Left with no protector and guide, the mother and sister 
rose to the full measure of their duty, educating and training the boy by 
precept and example in those principles of moral and religious duty, honor, 
integrity and benevolence which distinguished his long and useful life. 

Neither did they neglect his mental culture, but gave him every advantage 
in their power for the attainment of knowledge. Their instruction in English 
Literature and Mathematics was supplemented, as has been told, by the teach- 
ing of his step-father, the Rev. Adam Boyd, who was a gentleman of fine 
literary and classical attainments. After a short sojourn at a school in Hills- 
boro, N. C, at the age of seventeen years he entered Nassau Hall (now 
Princeton College), New Jersey, fully equipped for competition with the most 
privileged and brightest of his fellow-students. 

At this time the family finances were at a low ebb ; he tells us that he left 
home with a sum of money incredibly small after his matriculation expenses 
were paid. Conscientiously industrious, he made such good use of his time 
that the four years' course of study was completed in three years. His 
youth, his studious habits and his purity of character attracted the attention 
of some of his seniors, who took an interest in him and gave him advice and 
encouragement of great value. Among those to whom he felt specially indebted 
were Robert Goodloc Harper, of Maryland, afterwards distinguished as a 
statesman and jurist and political writer; and Dr. Joseph Caldwell, after- 
wards President of the University of North Carolina, who is remembered to 
have said in later years that he had shed bitter tears at being outstripped by 
his youthful fellow-student. 

Page Sixty-One * 



A N N A L S OF THE D E II O S S E T V A M I L Y 

Being unable to bear tlic expense of the long journey home for his vacation, 
by the advice of Dr. Harper, he spent the holiday months pursuing the study of 
the junior class, with such success that he was promoted to the senior class at 
the next term. He also eked out his resources by following the example of his 
good friend in "tutoring" the younger boys in evening classes. 

Graduating in the summer of 1787, he returned home, taking passage 
with several others on a schooner, which was wrecked at Willoughby's Point. 
The boys were rescued and hospitably cared for by the family of that name ; 
but their clothing and other effects were a total loss. His companions were 
Richard Quince and his cousin, Anthony Toomcr. 

In the fall of the same year he returned North to attend the Medical 
School of the University of Pennsylvania. The genius and skill of the cele- 
brated Dr. Benjamin Rush had already given promise of the fame that insti- 
tution was destined to attain. So earnest a student could not fail to win the 
esteem and friendship of the great physician, who soon admitted him to the 
social advantages of his refined home. There he met and enjoyed the honor 
of several interviews with Benjamin Franklin and other eminent men of the 
day; and the friendship with Dr. Rush's family was cemented and continued 
during a long period of years. Several letters of their family correspondence 
are still preserved and treasured with our family papers. 

Contemporart/ Account uf Cunferrinij the Decree of M. D. nn Dr. Armnnd John deRnsset 

hji the Univeraiti/ of Pen/isylranin. 

The Pennsylvania Packet, and Daily Advertiser of June 19, 1790, contains the following 
article: 

"Philadelphia, June 19, 

On Tuesday, June 8, the Commencement was held by adjournment, for the purpose of 
conferring the degree of Doctor of Medicine, in the College hall of this city. The business was 
opened with a prayer, by the Rev. Dr. Smith, Provost of the College. A pertinent address 
was afterwards delivered to the audience, by Dr. Shippen, in which several judicious reasons 
were given for conferring the degree of Doctor, instead of Bachellor of Medicine in the 
College. Tlie following candidates were then examined upon the subjects of their theses by 
the different Professors of Medicine, viz: 

Armand John deRosset, of North Carolina, 

De Febribus Intermittentibus. 
James Proudfit, of the State of Xew York, 

De Pleuritide Vera. 
John Pennington, of Philadelphia, 

On Fermentation. 

The Latin theses were examined and defended, in the Latin language. The theses on 
Fermentation, which, for the modern terms emiiloyed in it, was necessarily written in English, 
was examined and defended in the same language. 

Page Sixty-Two 



ANNALS OF THE DE UOSSET F A M I L Y 

The Degree of Doctor of Jletlicine was then conferred hy the Provost u])on Samuel Powell 
Griffith, SI. B., Professor of Materia Mcdica in the College, and upon each of the candidates, 
to whom the right hand of fellowship was afterwards publickly given by each of the Medical 
Professors. The business of the day was concluded with a sensible and pathetic address to the 
Graduates, by the Provost of the College." 

Dr. deRosset's Latin Thesis, published by the Faculty of the University, 
was long preserved in the family, but cannot now be found. He had a remark- 
ably retentive and accurate memory, and so mastered all his studies that the 
knowledge once gained became fixed in his mind. In extreme old age he would 
quote apt passages from classical authors, of whom Horace and Virgil were 
his favorites. Copies of the Thesis were submitted to the Hon. Benjamin 
Hawkins, then United States Senator from North Carolina, and to other men 
of learning, eliciting connnendatory replies. 

Doubtless the young doctor was abundantly gratified by the distinctions he 
had won, but he was not the man to rest content upon laurels already earned; 
they only served as a stimulus to renewed energies and exertion. With charac- 
teristic industry and detennination he immediately entered upon the duties of 
his profession at Wilmington in competition with such older physicians of 
eminence as Drs. James Fergus, Nathaniel Hill and James Claypole, graduates 
of Edinburgh, Scotland, and others of equal repute. 

And so, equipped with the most advanced medical knowledge of that day, and 
crowned with collegiate honors, in his twenty-third year, he began a successful 
professional career, which continued in active service for 69 years, having prac- 
tised in six generations of one family. 

About that time, two young ladies from Charleston, the Misses Fullerton, 
came to Wilmington to visit their uncle, Henry Toomer, the husband of the 
doctor's sister, Magdalene M. deRosset. He soon fell a victim to the charms 
of Mar}', the older sister, and the attachment being mutual, they were married 
in Charleston, October 6, 1791. Mary had a delicate constitution, and, after 
having borne three daughters, who died in infancy, and a son, Moses John, who 
survived her, she died of that dread disease, consumption, in November, 1797. 
"As a wife, she was all that I could wish," writes her bereaved husband. 

But, being only thirty years of age, he sorely felt the need of wifely love 
and companionship, as well as of motherly care for his idolized son. Not 
l)eing able to reconcile it to his feelings to place a stranger over this beloved 
child, after many scruples, on account of their relative situation, he resolved 
to offer himself to Catherine Fullerton, sister of his first wife. She shared his 
scruples, but, finally yielding to his urgent suit, they were married in Charleston 

Page Sixty-Three 



ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY 

August 1, 1799. He had long known lier many excellences of character, and 
loved lier with unfeigned affection, which slie fully reciprocated, and proved 
herself in all respects a blessed helpmeet. 

His first married life was spent in his father's house on the northeast comer 
of Second and Market streets, his mother, Mrs. Boyd, having taken up her 
abode with her daughter, Mrs. Toomer ; but, on becoming engaged to "Kitty" 
Fullerton, he built for her reception the brick house still standing on the nortii- 
west corner of Third and Mai'ket. Unsightly it seems to our modem ideas of 
elegance, being built flush with the streets, according to the ugly custom of that 
day. But it was then a handsome iiomc, and substantial enough to last for 
generations. And withal a house so full of precious memories, so liallowed by 
saintly lives and holy deaths, so blessed witli the atmosphere of love and 
Christ-like benvolcnce, that we may well weep that it has now passed into the 
possession of strangers. 

"The soul of the old house is forever gone. It iiad been tlie guardian of its 
inner life, but is now only tlie keeper of the family ghost." 

The Fullerton sisters were daughters of John Fullerton and Elizabeth 
Toomer, his wife. Mr. Fullerton was a Scotchman, a Hume by birth, nephew 
of David Hume, the famous philosopher and historian. When very young his 
name was changed by due process of law to that of a maternal uncle, an old 
bachelor, who begged to adopt him, give him his own name and make him his 
heir. The old gentleman, however, married in his old age, and when a son of 
his own appeared, young Fullerton, then about seventeen, gave up the hope of 
his inheritance and left home to seek his fortunes in a new land. That his Uncle 
David held him in great regard and affection was abundantly shown by a 
constant correspondence with his "beloved nephew" during his life time. Many 
of these letters were long preserved in the family ; the last one, much pasted 
and stitched for preservation, was, by request, loaned to a historical society in 
Charleston that wished to obtain an autography of David Hume, and, to my 
grandfather's lasting regret, was never recovered. 

Young J^ullerton must have exhibited qualities commanding the esteem of 
his adopted countrymen, and gained the friendship of families of high social 
standing. Being without means and having a mechanical turn, he adopted the 
cabinet maker's trade, and did excellent work in that line. 

Fully identified with liis new home, as the Revolutionary War drew near, he 
proved himself an ardent patriot and was one of the committee of thirteen 
mechanics, who, with a like number each of planters and merchants, met at the 
Liberty Tree in 17fi6 to devise means for furthering the cause of American 

Page Sixty-Foil r 



of !<(!<; !ii •, KsjTingr tftree d&ughures »■ ■ 

Toomv lie w&r, of disease coiitr tht 

1. Elizabeth (Mrs. Joseph Sighfon, of Cliarlestors), 

Se. Mary (Mrs. A. J. deRosset, of Wilmingtoii), d. 1797. 

S. Catherine (also Mrs. A. J. deRosset), b. 1~7L d- 1857 (luimwi for her 
aunt, Catherine Hume, sister of the historian). 

Elizabeth Fuilerton, their motlwr (17S6-18f 1 ), wssi a woman of uncoinnion 
iat.elle<,'t an<t liteyiiry attamme.nts, s^jkI after the war, for the support and 
education of her daughters, she opened a sAool for youn^ ladies m Charleston, 
Thus the thre<; sisters enjoyed, adv-antages of a&acMkm and culture bcyood 
those of many ^■'SitlewoT.nen af Ih^MS ' il?!^^ ' , 



Mrs, Fisil^ 



ojifi.yabli? place i,«^ 






C,#ark»t0a ia 



iv-:-. 



rigid 



Erected a^, ^- ,u> ;:iv>;i;i 

The Fuik-rtoj^s were 
strong religious feeling aad faith whicls his Ursck l>«^^ 
niiriself — so much respected tliat none of his frequent I 
{^■»iri- t« iaiuau-e the nephew to adopt his principles. 

Bill l>r deBoss»et*« loyal adherence to the FiSiabli^hed Chard 
difference of opinion on such a vital iKvint:, and iris -s 
aitU, « JUi her husband, a nsemlser of St. James' ("hurch, Wihniagtc-ii. 

Her hands were full of domestic and nmternal cares and nobly did slie 
fier varied duties. Bringing up her children in the fear and mmomirkm 
Lord, and looking well to the ways of her household, tndy did the heari 



fultll 
of th« 

of hxn- 



Page Syt'if-Fh'e 



-# 



msf 



I 



Mrs- Etitabttli Tiuimer Fuller? 



# 



ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY 

independence (see McCiady's History, Vol. II., pp. 590 and 651). (This 
tree was destroyed by the British during Sir Henry CHnton's occupation of 
Charleston, as having been the "hot bed of rebellion.") These men succeeded 
in carrying the "Non-Importation Acts," and formulated an agreement for 
co-operation in patriotic measures. 

IMr. Fullerton died before the Revolution (or we would doubtless have heard 
of him in military service), leaving three daughters and one son, Joshua 
Toomer, who died unmarried early in the war, of disease contracted in the 
service. The daughters were: 

1. Elizabeth (Mrs. Joseph Righton, of Charleston). 

2. Mary (Mrs. A. J. deRosset, of Wilmington), d. 1797. 

3. Catherine (also Mrs. A. J. deRosset), b. 1771, d. 1857 (named for her 
aunt, Catherine Hume, sister of the historian). 

EHzabeth Fullerton, their mother (1736-1821), was a woman of uncommon 
intellect and literary attainments, and after the war, for the support and 
education of her daughters, she opened a school for young ladies in Charleston. 
Thus the three sisters enjoyed advantages of education and culture beyond 
those of many gentlewomen of their day. 

Mrs. Fullerton has an honorable place in the Revolutionary Historical 
Records of South Carolina as "pi'ominent among the women of Charleston in 
sustaining and encouraging the fainting, sorrowing spirits of the trying times 
of the siege and occupation of the British arniy." 

She died in Charleston, at Mrs. Righton's home, and is interred in the 
Circular churchyard. Her tomb has this inscription : 

"Sacred to the Memory of Mrs. Elizabeth Fullerton, who ended this mortal 
life in the sure and certain hope of a glorious immortality, on the 21st day of 
August, 1821, aged 84 yrs. and 10 mos. 

Erected as a memorial of the filial affection of her two surviving daughters." 

The Fullertons were rigid Presbyterians. Their father was a man of 
strong religious feeling and faith which his Uncle David — an unbeliever 
himself — so much respected that none of his frequent letters manifested any 
desire to influence the nephew to adopt his principles. 

But Dr. deRosset's loyal adherence to the Established Church of England 
allowed no diffei-ence of opinion on such a vital point ; and his wife lived and 
died, with her husband, a member of St. James' Church, Wilmington. 

Her hands were full of domestic and matei'nal cares and nobly did she fulfill 
her varied duties. Bringing up her children in the fear and admonition of the 
Lord, and looking well to the ways of her household, truly did the heart of her 

Page Sixty-Five 



ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY 

husband safely trust in her, and "her children rise up and call her blessed." It 
seems as though the last chapter of Proverbs might be taken as a memorial 
of her ! 

The increasing cares of a growing family did not lessen the claims of hos- 
pitality or social enjoyment. Guests were entertained constantly and lavishly; 
society's demands were met cordially. However simple and innocent the 
customary amusements may appear to our advanced ideas, they were neverthe- 
less thoroughly enjoyed. Friends would drop in with their sewing (there were 
no "machines" then) to spend the day in congenial company and friendly chat. 
The pleasures of the evening were enhanced by the universal love of music. 
Instruments were rare, but with voices tuned in sweet accord, the girls would 
sing the dear melodies of "lang syne," and the deep basses and the tenors of 
their beaux added rich charm to chorus and refrain. Dress was modest and 
simple; and early hours for retiring were insisted on by the elders. 

Grandpa was too busy a man to give much time to gayeties, for which, 
indeed, he had no taste. His one diversion was the "Nine-penny Whist Club," 
an organization of twelve gentlemen which became famous for tlie wit and 
humor of its members. It was not only for card playing, but for mutual enter- 
tainment. Some of its papers (1800-1805) still exist, and are curious 
reminders of the manners and customs of the early days of the Nineteenth 
Century. Mr. Robert Muter was the presiding officer, "Emperor," his title, 
and the club met alternately at the houses of tlie members. After awhile the 
meetings became too hilarious to suit the taste (or conscience?) of the more 
moderate members, and it gradually lapsed into obhvion. 

October 10, 1814, Dr. deRosset was commissioned by Governor Hawkins 
surgeon of the Third Regiment of the North Carolina Militia, raised for the 
protection of Wilmington and the surrounding country. 

He was for many years port physician of Wilmington, and, brought into 
contact so constantly with seafaring men, he had the greatest interest in their 
welfare, bodily and spiritual, and they in return held him in affectionate esteem. 

He was promoter of the Bible Society of Wilmington, formed in 1816, of 
which he was at first Vice-president, and Mr. George Hooper, President ; but on 
the resignation of ]Mr. Hooper the doctor became President. Among the 
beneficiaries of this society it may well be believed that the mariners, of whom 
he was the official physician, were remembered. His first annual repoi-t is 
still extant, and exhibits a spirit of personal holiness and reverence for the Holy 
Scriptures and of gratitude for God's mercies. It concludes with these words : 

Page Sivty-Six 



ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMfLV 

husband safeiy trust in her, shcI **l>cr children rise up and call her bkssed." It. 
•^et-nis a& kho"gh the iast chapter of Proverbs might be taken as a memorial 
of b.er! 

The increasing cares of a growing fsinsily did not lessen the claims of hos- 
pjtaiity or social enjoyment. Guests were erstertained constantly and lavishly ; 
riOiii'Jv's deriiand* vrtr« met cordially. However simple and innocent the 
v-iistermry aifluweaienta ma--- :\r>v<(i<- to (var advixnoKl :d«aK. they '^^re neverthe- 
l«ss thoroygldy eBioy*-«i ^here wer« 

■iio '"ma<! .i.;iu,:ji«i}dly ehat. 



{:.■ ^hQi-.ii u.ai jvfrain. Dress was Ui«*.!(.->i xn^i 
. . : . ; Akrag VKii-e iusisted on by the eldtrs. 

:^ w,«^ too busy a man to give much time to gayeties, for wWdi, 
indeed, h& Isad no bx-ste. His oTie diversion, viva the "Nine-penny Whist Club,'* 



humor of 1 
tainrjient. 

ivnuijffers 
Century., 
ai.sil Ihe I'l 



-rif tv t 'C ' J'. ' O g'.a^tjonxm flhif'h her-fi 



j«e fauious for tl'.e wit and 
s uunRbtr.*, It was r.iot or.lv for oan] ijiayiRg, but for uuitu.al enter- 

tili exist, and are curious 



Some of its paper.s (18001805) ; 
>f the raann'^r^.^?4'?f3 m^^r, of the e 



Mr, Robert Muter was the presiding 
h miii <ilK>i-ntiiply ^f rhi^ hO!ise^ itf thf 



irly days of the Nineteenth 
officer, "Emperor," his title, 
members. After awhile the 
meetings became too hilarious to suit the taste (or conscience?) of the more 
moderate members, and it graduslly lapsed into oblivion. 

Octuber 10, 181 «, Ur. <kEo-.aet was comniissiorsed by Governor Hawkins 
surgeon of the Third Regiment of tiie North Carolina Miiitia, raiswl for the 
protection of Wilmington and the surrouniling count rv. 

lie wa.s for fij.-ii^v y&ars |M>rf. i.shySicisK of -o 

eoiUiitt so conbta.atly with »*-sf&rii-g snen, lit? ha; .■ ^^ .■• . ' n.i",>: ;: ^;sejr 
welfare, bodily and spiritual, and they in return held him in aifectionate esteem. 

He w«ss i>ro?VJotsr of t.He BiK?-? ^S^.s^j-'-tv of Wslraiogton; formed «! 1816, of 
wluch Isf w&s at §rst Vke : . G««Jrf<; lloowr, Fresideiit; but on 

the resignation of Mr. ili-^oper Ur^ vioctor be<.'ame President. Among the 
beneficiaries of this ^'' '■'•■■ '■' nmy wc-ji be i)clieved that the mariners, of whom 
he ^»s the (sikijii v «'«??«; resjss^bered. His first annual report is 

still extant, and exhibus i. pergonal holiness and reverence for the Holy 

Scriptures and of gratitui^ n. v.od's mercies. It concludes with these words: 



P(ig£ S't:vfy-8i<s 



ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY 

"Let us with grateful hearts adore Him for His goodness to us who so 
frequently and sinfully neglect to render Him the pleasant and easy tribute 
of love, adoration and praise so justly His due. Let us fervently implore the 
continuance of His favor and the invigorating aid of His Holy Spirit to help 
us to work out our own salvation with fear and trembling." 

I cannot think there was ever a time when my grandfather was not at heart 
an earnest Christian ; and these devout expressions reveal the work of entire 
consecration begun in him by the Holy Spirit. 

St. James' Church, of which his ancestors were among the founders, was 
often without a pastor. No Bishop had ever visited this region, and the 
religious life of her children generally was at a low ebb. At the same time 
intense loyalty and love for the dear old Church of their fathers and devotion 
to her matchless Liturgy were not lacking in some of the parishioners of St. 
James, who did their best to keep it alive by lay services and prayer meetings, 
and lending to each other every book to be had on Church Doctrine and Personal 
Religion. Among the debris at the old home were dozens of blank books filled 
with extracts copied from the rare and valued religious works of the day. 
Serious and solemn those books may seem to us, but they were highly prized 
treasures to their pious readers. And certainly they were the fertilizing soil 
that brought forth in them rich harvests of spiritual life, and grace, and 
beauty. 

An anecdote of one of the prayer meetings has come down to us. It was held 
at Judge Wright's house about 1815. Our dear grandpa and his saintly wife 
were present. How rejoiced her prayerful heart must have been when he, for 
the first time, knelt and took part openly in the services. Her joyful exclama- 
tion, "He knelt, he knelt, did you see?" called forth the glad sympathy of 
every pious heart in the assembly. From that time, there was never a backward 
step in their religious life. 

Denominational lines were not so distinctly marked then as now. "All who 
love the Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity" wei'e welcome to the services of all 
the Churches. And when once there came a time that the flock of St. James was 
without a shepherd, the Methodists held a great revival. The interest extended 
to all Christians, and many of our people were "converted," generally, however, 
maintaining their allegiance to their own Churches. There were three excep- 
tions in our family, and, when a few years later. Bishop Moore, of Virginia, 
made his famous visitation and confirmed nearly a hundred people, who had 
long waited for that blessing, those three, grown very strong in their new faith, 
refused to return, and lived long to be shining lights of Methodism. It should 

Page Sixty-Seven 



ANX ALS OF THE DE ROSSET F AM I L Y 

be noted, however, that ahiiost without exception the descendants of these 
ladies are now devoted Episcopahans ! 

The religious life of the deRosset family made an enduring impress upon 
the community. Duty to God and duty to neighbor went hand in hand. 
Unceasing, systematic benevolence and charity bore witness to the motive power 
of the former; while hundreds still live to testify to innumerable loving kind- 
nesses extended to them and theirs. 

"Family prayers" — nowadays so sadly fallen into disuse — were then a matter 
of course. As soon would one neglect private devotions as those of the family 
altar, conducted by the patriarch of the house. And woe to the belated child 
who did not get down in time! 

The sanctity of the Lord's Day was rigidly enforced. Nobody thought of 
staying away from Church; books of religious instruction only were allowed to 
be read ; letters, even to absent members of the family, were forbidden. Two 
Church services, with a sennon at each, and Sunday School, pretty well filled 
every hour of the day. Indeed, the rigidness of the Puritan "Sabbath Laws" 
strongly penadcd the devout spirit of the times. Let the conscience of each of 
us of these times say if it were not more conducive to the glory of God and the 
good of our own souls than the laxity and sacrilege now so prevalent. At any 
rate, such "holy living" produced men and women of far higher, nobler 
Christian character than one often sees nowadays, and ended at last in such 
"holy dying" as would have delighted the heart of good old Jeremy Taylor. 

When the deRossets emigrated to the Cape Fear prior to 1735 there was no 
house of worship in the little hamlet of New Liverpool. St. James' Parish 
embraced several counties that now appear on the map, and the need of 
religious services was sadly apparent. Prominent among the promoters of the 
Church building were Dr. A. J. deRosset I., and his sons, Moses J., I., and 
Lewis H., who, as King's Councillor, used his influence in its behalf. The first 
St. James stood half way in the street, midway between Third and Fourth, the 
sidewalk leading directly into the front entrance. It was twenty years or 
more in process of erection, and during the Revolutionary War was occupied 
as a stable for the British troopers. But this is apart from our subject. 

The deRossets^father, sons and grandsons — have been from the first war- 
dens, vestrymen, treasurers and lay readers of tlie Parish; delegates to the 
Diocesan and General Conventions; and generous contributors to the support 
and maintenance of the Parish. Among the family papers is the autograph 
appointment by Bishop Ravenscroft of three lay readers for St. James' Church 
in 1827, namely: A. J. deRosset, William C. Lord and James Green. The 

Page Sixty-Eight 



Resiaencc ol^^ 
A, j. DeRosset, lA) il 

Mark^; and Third Str<^ i 

W'llniJngton. N. Ci;^, 




ANNALS OF THE b 



SSET FAMILY 



be noted, lio-»ever, that almost without exception the descendants of these 
k<dies are now devoted Episcopalians ! 

The religious life of the deRosset family made an enduring impress upon 
the fonnnunitv. Duty to God and duty to neighbor went hand in hand. 
Unceasing, systematic benevolence and charity bore witness to the motive power 
of the former; while hundreds stili Jive to testify to innumerable loving kind- 
nesses extended to tlsesn and theirs, 

"Family prayei-s" — siowadfvys so sadly fallen into disuse — were tJhiea a matter 
of course. As soon would orse r.i-g!«d private devotions as those of Hie fmmlv 
altar, conducted hy the pairiarch of tha. r;*uae. Aii-J woe to the hxsl&.l^^d ckild 
who did not j^et down ir> tin>e! 

T' Day was ri^\d\y enforced. Nobody thought of 

s»;4i •■ -'' ■''■"- iristructii' ^'1-' were allowed to 

V : . !-■'"?< ■;! ; family ^'-biddet!- Two 

«Jj»u=:;. i!.rvi<c<, svrth ,» s- ='yi<>r: at o?s.cli, aR«J ." u pretty weO Elkd 

- iiiVjii- : ]„ \\h: sl^iidness ■:■ ii., r-;i--.« "Sabbath Laws" 

" the tinics. Let the conscience of each of 
:e to the glory of God and the 



Xii^ «'>f i^%g #' li'.!H- ' » - ■ ■aV 



SJijOti of O 



Christian 



When i 



■pint o 



,ir own souls ^^ay^iygijgjpty and sacrilege now so prevalent. At any 



rate, such '"hoh^I Uoif^ MS^^Wi'^ .^/-/K'"'^ v«men of far higher, nobler 



char&ctev..Ui.«.sib.«^r fcV^HT-J-.ij*)^-'^ nowadf 



"holy dyilig" as would:iiMo,«i(8y^»^Ki5«ri the heart oi 



Y .. i\cMn„iiAi ,,-.i-v:.T!-!.f(>^i til thp ('"p=' 'V^> 



rs. and ended at last in such 



good old Jeremy Taylor. 



tr prior to 1785 there was no 



sjouse of worship in the little hai.sdoi of New Liverpool. St. James' Parish 
embr&ced several counties that now appear on the map, and tlie need of 
religious services was sadly apparen.t. Pronunent among the prouioters of the 
Church building were Dr. A. i. deRosset L, and \m^^ sosis, M»si'-i J,, L, and 
I^nvis H., who, as King's Councillor, use<i his 5nf!«enc« in its l»ha-!f- The first 
St. James stcKKi half way in the street, snidwav betwe^^n Third and Fourth, the 
sidewalk leading directly into tft« frmvi It -y- . . years or 

more i.o process of credsoo, and durmg ■!'-■■ 



.iutiCi«Uirv 



i* <KC'vlpSS<S 



as a stabk for tli 



le bntjs 



h troopers. But this 



> apart inssn our subject. 
The dellosset-s fsther, soss *sd graju.isoKS have been from the first war- 
dens, vestrymen, tres^Aisrers and kv •'■ the Paris)!: delegates to the 
Diocesan and General CoRVMstions; js ,, . :'ni^ contributors to the support 
and maintenance of the Parish. .A.i5i:>s>g ths; family papers is the autograph 
a})pointment by Bishop ]lav«)ftscr?4t of iisrte lay readers for St. James' Church 
in 18S7, namelv: A. J. fMioss--:f, Wihiam C. Lord and James Green. The 



Page Sio'tv-Eig-ht 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

first two named are my grandfathers ; the last, a cousin and friend of both the 
others, and brother of the late Bishop William M. Green, of Mississippi. 

Of a kind and genial disposition, Dr. deRosset's home was the abode of hos- 
pitahty — which was, indeed, regarded as a religious duty, as well as a social 
pleasure. Relatives and friends were always welcome, and sure of affectionate 
and generous entertainment ; and multitudes of strangers have lived to bless 
the day when, if not "angel visitors" themselves, they were treated as such by 
the Christian courtesy of a large-hearted, hospitable host. The "prophet's 
chamber" was kept sacred to its proper use and rarely was unoccupied. Among 
those whom I specially remember his entertaining were old Bishop Chase — whose 
black skull cap was the first I had ever seen and which, therefore, made a lasting 
impression — and Bishop Cobbs, of Alabama, whose little child died in my grand- 
father's home, and was buried in his family vault in St. James' churchyard. 
An instance of his hospitality is worthy of record, because of its lasting results. 

In the summer of 1838 the steamer "Pulaski," bound from Savannah to New 
York, was burned off the coast near Wilmington, with fearful loss of life. 
Among the few passengers saved were Mr. G. B. Lamar, of Georgia, his sister 
and one son. His wife and six other children perished. The survivors were 
i-escued after three days' exposure to a blazing sun, without food or water ; and, 
in this pitiable condition, they were taken by Dr. dcRosset to his home, where 
for many weeks they were tenderly nursed by his daughters. A warm, life-long 
friendship resulted; and when, a few years later, a second marriage brought a 
son to Mr. Lamar, he was given the name of deRosset. The compliment was 
returned by giving the Lamar name to a grandson of the doctor about the same 
age. A beautiful silver tea service was a tangible token of affectionate grati- 
tude from Mr. Lamar, and is now owned by his namesake, Amiand Lamar 
deRosset. 

As master of his slaves. Dr. deRosset was merciful and indulgent, winning 
the respect and affection of the large corps of well-trained servants, each one of 
whom felt a personal intei-est in all domestic affairs, performing admirably his 
or her appointed duty. They were taught the sanctity of the marriage bond. 
Husband and wife, parent and child, were never separated. Their religious 
instruction was faithfully carried on by their young mistresses, and so well did 
they profit by it that after emancipation several of them became Methodist 
ministers to congregations of their own race, but never failed to attribute 
their success and usefulness to the teaching of "Miss Lizzie and Miss Mag." 
The mutual affection thus established has in many instances been continued by 
their descendants in these happy days of "freedom." I have old letters written 

Page Sij:ty-Nme 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

by some of the servants during and since the late war, which I think testify to 
the truth of my statements. The writer of some of them. Rev. Wilham 
Thurber, was for years a prominent minister to his race; and "Jimmy," who 
was my father's trusty man about the office, became the Rev. James Telfair, 
who did much to build up the large congregation of St. Stephen's colored 
church of this city. Others of them were also trusted and valuable servants and 
have done well for themselves and their families in later years. 

The law prohibited teaching slaves to read and write, being forced to do so on 
account of the incendiary tracts, etc., sent out by Northern abolitionists. 
These papers flooded the South, the very shoes that came out with plantation 
supplies being stuffed with such documents. But tlie desire of the slaves for 
learning, the house servants especially, was sometimes gratified, and many of 
them attained some degree of education. 

My grandfather was short in statue, being not over five feet, four inches, 
with light blue eyes and mddy complexion ; not handsome, though a benign 
expression lent a pleasing and attractive appearance to his countenance. 
Those who had seen the portrait of his French ancestor, Dr. Armand I., said 
that he was very much like it. 

In dress he was neat, but never extreme in fashion, wearing always a full 
white linen stock, made and kept spotless by the care of his devoted daughters. 
The knee-breeches and buckles, the silk stockings and the queue of that period 
were not discarded until his fiftieth birthday. He was the last gentleman of his 
day in this part of the country to conform to the more modern style of dress. 

His habits were methodical and rigidly adhered to. He rose at a very early 
hour, getting out with his trusty walking stick before dawn, in time to hear the 
watchman's cry, "Five o'clock — all's well," as long as that custom continued, 
keeping his habit up, indeed, almost to the very last. 

Temperate in all things, free from every vice, he knew not, except from 
hearsay, what "dissipation" meant. His daughter, Mrs. Kennedy, writes : 

"Brought up in the times when the idea prevailed that malaria could be 
averted only by stimulants, he was habituated from early life to a daily 'dram' 
of very weak rum and water; but, finding that his example was cited by several 
as an excuse for their indulgence, he laid it aside until, in old age, he was urged 
by his brother physicians to 'take a little wine for his stomach's sake,' and to 
brace his waning strength. And then it was usually blackberry, or other 
simple medicinal concoctions." 

I have never even heard that he carried the inevitable snuff box of those days. 

My grandfather had no political aspirations; nor did lie covet distinction in 

Page Seventy 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSS ET FAMILY 

any shape save in the performance of every duty to the best of his ability. 
Nevertheless, he was a man of public spirit, fully alive to the interests of the 
community, and commanded by his integrity and force of character the highest 
respect of his fellow-citizens. He was repeatedly made Justice of the Peace, a 
higher honor then than now. 

In 185i!^, he was elected director of the Bank of Cape Fear, and, until his 
death, thirty-seven years later, was annually re-elected. "There was no post 
more important or more eagerly sought in this mercantile community. In the 
discharge of its functions, Dr. deRosset was regular in attendance at the 
sessions of the board ; a faithful, fearless and independent officer ; and rendered 
the bank much valuable service." So writes Dr. Thos. H. Wright, the president 
of the bank at the time of grandpa's death. 

He was a large subscriber to the first cotton factory established in North 
Carolina (The Rockfish Company), holding shares to the amount of $10,000, 
The dividends of this company and its products in goods were of immense value 
to his heirs during the hard times of the Civil War. He was also a subscriber 
to a like amount to the stock of the first railroad in the State (The Wilming- 
ton & Raleigh, later the Wilmington & Weldon, and now incorporated into the 
Atlantic Coast Line System). Indeed, no public enterprise was inaugurated 
that did not find in him a liberal supporter. 

The doctor's practice was very large, extending through all the adjoining 
counties. When I first recollect it, his "shop" was on the northwest corner of 
Front and Market streets, and was reached by quite a flight of steps. I well 
recall a big silver Spanish dollar that was given me for bravely submitting to 
the extraction of a jaw tooth by the great tongs-like iron pincers used in 
dentistry of those times — for doctors were dentists then as well. 

There were no drug stores until 1838. Up to that time every physician kept 
his own supplies, including jujube paste, and peppennint drops, and liquorice 
root — the "treats" of all good children. They compounded their own pre- 
scriptions and furnished the needs of the public in that line. 

His visits were frequent and lengthy, his patients often twenty or thirty 
miles distant (McRee says fifty or even sixty), but whether rich or poor, far or 
near, his attention and skill were equally — often gratuitously — bestowed. His 
mode of conveyance was a vehicle called the "stick chair." Old "Spot" was the 
much petted and valued horse (he lived over twenty years), and "Tommy" was 
the faithful negro groom and driver. 

It was the custom of the proprietors of the great rice plantations along the 
river to pay their physicians a stated yearly salary for attending their 

Page Seventy-One 



AX X A LS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

families and slaves ; but as these planters were notoriously impecunious, it 
may well be supposed that the services rendered were generally largely in 
excess of the payment received- — one, two or three hundred dollars, as the case 
might be. The long dreary rides over Mt. ^Misery sand hills, or across the 
two ferries and the swamps of Eagles' Island, were, indeed, poorly compensated. 
Nevertheless, the doctor prospered financially and "by industry and assiduity, 
he soon won the esteem of the public, and obtained a share of patronage second 
only to that of Dr. Nat Hill." His patients were soothed by sympathy and 
tenderness which, especially towards the female sufferer, were almost feminine. 

MOSES JOHN deROSSET, M. D., H. 

Son of Dr. A. J. deEossett II. by His First Wife, Mary Fiilkrfon. 

h. February 11, 1796— d. July 1, 1826. 

Educated at the classical school of Rev. Mr. Bingham (the elder), in Hills- 
borough, he matriculated at Chapel Hill in 1814, Dr. Caldwell, his father's old 
Princeton friend, being then President. Graduating in 1816, he went to the 
New York Medical College, and also attended a special course of lectures under 
the celebrated Dr. Physick. Receiving his degree in 1820, he joined his father, 
under the firm name of deRosset & Son, in the practice of medicine, in Wilming- 
ton. He was an enthusiastic practitioner, and his successful treatment of 
yellow fever during the epidemic of 1821 won for him a high reputation in his 
profession. He was much interested in the study of climatic influence upon 
disease, and kindred branches of science, especially meteoi'ology, and for years 
kept a regular record of weather conditions, which still exists. 

In February, 1826, he was married to Sarah E. Waddell, daughter of Mr. 
John Waddell ; but she, with his other loved ones, was soon called to mourn his 
untimely end. At the age of thirty, July 1, 1826, he was called away, and 
his poor father's fondest hopes were crushed. Amiable, affectionate and gener- 
ous in his nature, and of strictly honorable principles, he won the love and 
respect of all who knew him. In the prime of life, in the midst of usefulness, 
and with the brightest prospects of professional distinction and of domestic 
happiness, the comfort and stay of his devoted father, his death was a sore 
affliction. 

His wife long survived him, but never married, and died in 1862. 

The family hopes thus centered in the only remaining son, my father, Dr. 
Armand John deRosset, Jr., who, in 1824', at the early age of sixteen years 

Page Seventy-Two 



ANNALS OF THE DEROSSET F AM I L Y 

and eight months, had graduated at the North Carohna University and was at 
this time pursuing his medical studies. 

Already the health of my grandmother, "sweet Kitty Fullerton," had begun 
to fail, and for nearly twenty years she was a constant sufferer from a painful, 
wasting disease. 

I was but seven years old when she died, and remember her only as an invalid, 
sitting on a low chair before a table, on which always lay a large open Bible; 
patient, cheerful, full of love and sympathy for all ; comforting the sorrowful ; 
stimulating the timid and wavering with loving counsel and wise precept ; and 
by beautiful example guiding others, as she herself stepped Heavenward. 
Later, as her disease progressed and confined her to bed, it was my pride and 
delight to please her by repeating the Sunday texts, and telling all I could 
remember of Dr. Drane's sermons. Then, sitting on the edge of her bed, I 
would say my catechism, collect and hymn, and get my reward in a loving kiss 
of approval. There must have been some wonderful charm about her to have 
impressed these childhood's incidents upon my mind as among the enduring 
blessed memories of my life. 

Grandma's mother, Mrs. Fullerton, used to make long visits to Wilmington, 
though her home was with her daughter, Mrs. Righton, in Charleston. Some 
family letters regarding her last illness and death are extant, and give a vivid 
illustration of the awful realities of death and eternity as conceived by earnest 
Christian people of that period. Mrs. Fullerton was not only dearly loved by 
her daughters, but they ardently admired her. 

Kitty (Mrs. deRosset) was something of an artist and when quite young she 
painted in oil a portrait of her mother. Finding herself successful in that 
effort, she undertook a picture of herself, seated in front of a mirror, with her 
eyes coyly turned in that direction. 

On March 9, 1837, the saintly wife, the long-suffering, tenderly loved mother, 

was called to the presence of the King of kings, to whose service she had been 

so loyal, so faithful, so loving and true ! The picture of her, as she lay in her 

burial robes upon the bed whereon for so many years she had patiently suffered, 

is indelibly printed on my memory. Watching through my own blinding tears 

the kneeling figures of her best beloved ones — husband, daughters and son — 

weeping for their loss, but sorrowing not as those without hope, for they knew 

she was among the blessed who are "accepted in the Beloved." For her 

"Death's but another life. We bow our heads 
At going out, we think; but enter straight 
Another golden chamber of the King, 
Larger than this we leave, and lo%'elier." 

Page Seventy-Three 



A X X A LS OF THE D E R S S E T F A M I L Y 

Nor was it only her family who mourned her loss. The sorrow was universal 
at home and abroad; for wherever her friends and acquaintances might be her 
influence was widely felt ; and she was dearly beloved by all of every degree. 
Her children never spoke of her but with tones hushed and reverent, as of one 
too sacred for common speech. 

Peace, eternal peace be hers! 

From that time his daughters were the tender guardians of their beloved 
father, ministering to his comforts and happiness, conducting the aff"airs of the 
household, and following in all respects the blessed example of her who had gone 
before. 

A sad bereavement befell us on March 4, 1850, in the death of dear "Aunt 
Mag," the devoted, practical, energetic, unselfish, helpful daughter of the 
family. It was only two months before my marriage, and in preparation for 
that event she had been as deeply interested as a second mother, and such a cloud 
of sorrow could but cast a heavy shadow upon the brightness of that happy 
event. When my little daughter came (the first of her generation as I was of 
mine) no name was dear enough for her but that of my second mother, and we 
called her Magdalene deRosset. Five years after she sped on angel wings to 
find the beloved unknown auntie in God's Paradise on high! 

Perhaps no woman of the community could have been so sadly missed. She 
was so full of loving sympathy and helpfulness in joy or sorrow; so unselfish; 
so pure in heart. But God took her to His Home, and we of the earthly home 
thank Him upon every remembrance of her! She died of what now would be 
called appendicitis; its treatment was then unknown. 

Her dying request was that a portion of the inheritance which would have 
been hers might be given "In Memoriam" to Church extension, and grandpa 
gave as such a lot for the erection of St. John's Church, which was shortly 
afterward built. 

Upon Aunt Lizzie devolved the care of the outdoor poor, including the 
County Home. This institution was visited by her almost daily and its inmates 
were benefited by her spiritual ministrations as well as by her generous relief of 
their bodily needs. 

A distressing accident, resulting in the dislocation and breaking of the hip- 
bone, limited her sphere of active charity, but patiently submitting to the 
Father's will there was still much she could do for the glory of God. Always 
unselfish and uncomplaining, her daily walk and conversation was in itself a 
blessing to all around her. Partially recovering from her injury, but lame 

Page Seventy-Four 



.4 N X ALU OF THE DEROSSET FAMIL Y 

Nor was it only her family who mourned her loss. The sorrow was universal 
a^ home and abroad; for wherever her frieisds and acquaintances might be her 
influence was widely felt; and she was dearly beloved by all of every degree. 
Hf-r fhiidren never spoke of her biH with tones hushed and reverent, as of one 
too sacred for common speech. 

Peace, eternal peace be hers! 

f'roxf^ th&t time hk- <imigM.ets wgre th-? '«fathr g^uardiaits of their beloved 
fa!- :'(mdii<:'iing th« affairs of the 

■ . , ^ , ixample of her who had gone 



"' " jted, ijractlcat, rr.'.rjjetif ; lipsciii^iii, .I'lpii^: ;i-- -ia^M ■..< the 

itnly two months before my marriage, and in preparation for 
th-At i^imt she hmi fx'efs as detiply intere-sted as a second motiit-r, and such a cloud 
of mnxm eooM byJ: cast a iseavy shadow upon tlit brightness of that happy 
event. When my Httle daughter came (the first of her generation as I was of 
mmz) no ^ifjrA' -^ri.k ' Jj. ' v-.l n^.r'i j j^h for hoy but that p f my second mother, and we 
vaUpd her 
find tise be^ived unkiWiiicaunilfe tasHstiJS Paradise 

Perlwips 
¥/as »o 



Magdalene dc-Rwjset. Fi^'e years af te: she Kped on aiigel wings tx> 

jn high ! 
e been so sadly missed. She 



no woman (^..^Aq qy^iftifl^j^y could ha^ 



of loving avmpsAhy and helpfalne-ss is joy or sorrow; so unselfish: 
ao pure iakita^ — Bu^ Gtxi tot>k h . i i r to "Hin l li" ^ ^^ , and we of the earthly hoine 



thank HiRi upon every remembrance of her! She died of what now would be 
cdiicd appendicitis; its treatment was then unknown. 

Her dying reqiiesi was that a portion of the inheritance which would have 
betiii lu-rs laight be given "In Memoriam" to Church extension, and grandpa 
gave as such a lot for the erection of St. John's Church, which was shortly 
afterward buiit. 

Upon Aunt. Lizzie devolved the care of the outdoor p«K>r, laciatiasg the 
Countv Hoir.e. Tliifc institutimi was vi.sited by her almost daily and its inmates 
were benefjted by lier .spiritual usinistrations as well a.? by her generous relief of 
tlieir Ivodily r.eeds. 

A distressing accident, resulting in the dislocation and breaking of the hip- 
bone, li?ivi<ed h.er sphei-e of active charity, but patiently submitting to the 
Fathei-'s will there whs still nnKh -slie could do lor the glory of God. Always 
uTiseltish and uncoinpiainirig, her daily walk and conversation was in itself a 
bh^sjng to .-ill srtjund her. Partiaiiy recovering from her injur}', but lame 

Page Sevenijf-FtMr 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

forever, after she lived for many years leaning upon the everlasting anns of 
mercy and love, and at last in her eighty-seventh year, fell asleep and went to 
Paradise, October 10th, 1888. 

Grandpa's oldest daughter, Catherine (one of the three converts to Metho- 
dism mentioned above), married Rev. William Kennedy, of the North Carolina 
Conference in December, 1834, and after her mother's death, in 1837, she, being 
then a widow and having the care of her youngest step-daughter, Catharine 
Kennedy, aged seven years, returned to Wilmington and made her home ever 
after with her father. She was a woman of deep piety, and her life was full of 
charity and good works. She was President of the Benevolent Society of Wil- 
mington and founder of the Old Ladies' Home, which, since her death, perpetu- 
ates her benefaction under the name of the "Catherine Kennedy Home for 
Old Ladies." 

Her temperament was artistic and very skilfully she wielded the artist's pen 
and brush, using her talent for the pleasure or benefit of friends and neighbors. 
She also had a goodly share of the poetic gift of the family, as the following 
lines of a fragment of blank verse, found in her desk, will manifest: 

"A sad remembrance comes of years long past; 
The friends of childhood one by one seem near; 
I hear their voices — meet them as they pass. 
And join the merry throng. 
Forgetful that the hand of Time 
Will touch each gleeful one of that gay crowd, 
And leave at last but one lone remnant of the little band 
To weep as friend, and friend again, is called 
From joys of Earth to mingle with the dead. 
One goes in early youth^another waits 
Till hoary hairs are seen; and weary steps 
That sought from week to week the House of God, 
Led to the truth at length, not gloriously, but bright 
With blessed Hope of Immortality. My friends 
Whom I have loved on Earth I trust to meet 
In that blest Home for faithful ones prepared. 
Where nevermore shall sorrow darken bliss. 
Nor pain, nor sickness, nor farewell shall come." 

Having outlived all her contemporaries, on Christmas Eve, 1889, Mrs. Ken- 
nedy entered into her eternal rest, in the ninetieth year of her age, beloved and 
lamented by thousands of all classes, whose lives had been blessed by her pious 
example. 

The Angel of Death had, long before these times of sorrow, called the beloved 

Page Seventy-Five 



ANNALS OF THE DE EOSSET F A M I LY 

father home. Passing peacefully into tlie serenity of beautiful old age, he 
entered into rest April 1st, 1859, in the ninety-second year of his age. 

Requiescat in Pace. 

At the annual meeting of the Medical Society t f North Carolina, May, 1859, 
a biographical sketch of Dr. deRosset, "an honorary member of the society," 
was presented, after which a resolution was adopted, from which I extract the 
following : 

"Resolved: That in the exalted character of the deceased in all the relations of life, and 
in his long and ardent attachment to the profession of medicine, he has left us, individually, 
a bright example for our imitation, and to this Society, as one of its oldest and most esteemed 
Honorary Members, the memory of a character venerable in age and full of honor." 

Extract from the Records of the New Ilanover County Medical Society. 

"Present: Dr. Jas. H. Dickson, President; and Drs. .Vnderson, Thomas, McRee, Wright, 
CuHar, Beery, Potter, and Medway. 

Committee, appointed to prepare resolutions relative to the death of Dr. A. J. deRosset, 
reported through Dr. J. H. Dickson, the following, which are adopted unanimously: 

Whereas: It has pleased the All-wise Disposer of Events to call from this transitory life, at 
the very advanced age of ninety-one years, our venerable and highly esteemed professional 
friend and "confrere"— Dr. Armand J. deRosset, Senior, we esteem it a duty, as well as 
a melancholy privilege, to place upon record, an united testimonial of our exalted appreciation 
of his character, both as a man and as a physician. 

Though by many years the senior of those engaged in the active duties of the medical 
profession; there are some among us, who have had the advantage of profiting in consultation, 
by the skill and large experience of this Nestor of our profession, now no more among the 
living; and, who have had the opportunity of observing the calm wisdom of his intellect, and 
the uniform kindness and courtesy of his manner, which, indeed, seemed to ripen with 
advancing years. 

After finishing his collegiate course at Princeton, A. J. deRosset became a pupil of the 
celebrated Dr. Rush, of Philadelphia, and was one of the earliest graduates of the Medical 
College of the City. 

He had thus availed himself of the best means, which the time and the country afforded, to 
prepare himself for the arduous and important duties of his professional life. 

Commencing his profession in the last decade of the last century, he continued in the active 
performance of his duties, until a few years past, when the growing pressure of years rendered 
him physically incompetent for its labors, while his intellect preserved its integrity to the close 
of his life. 

For several months past, it became painfully apparent to his friends that his strength was 
failing, and that the close of his earthly career was near at hand. 

Of this no one was better assured than himself, and it was consolatory to observe the calm 
and resignation with which he contemplated the approach of dissolution — not the calmness of 
the Stoic, but the peaceful, serene resignation of the Christian; for our venerable friend 
was of the highest type of man — the Christian Gentleman. 

During his life he was an honor to the medical profession of the State, and after having 
served several generations faithfully and acted his part worthily upon earth, he has at length 
been gathered to his fathers, full of years and full of honors. 

Page Seventy-Six 



'' F THE DEE 

'having now 
ippointed years, at i : 
i. ssf«'s tsfeas iteu, 

\: ight 

, A ilsath, left sss an exsiaipie wos-ihy »» oas.- siiiitai&iii. 
..,- ,,.■■_._■ '" "f a high order, and no doubt contributed to the eleva- 

tion of the ! our State; while his sterling qualities as a man and a 

be our aim, by the practice ues, to elevate oursehe?, our pwfession and 

our State. 

Resolved: That, while we condole with his surviving relations in the bereavement which 
they have sustained, we rejoice with them at the bright kgacy which has bee;^ l«?ft thesT! of s 
noble dsaracter erected on k basis of ispotieiis integrity and a wei! »»auj Isf?, 

The Secretary was direct eti to send tlis family of the deceased a copy oi the abuve; siid, 
also to furnish eo; i *' *' • ' ' T-^' " ' • • "ic K. C. Medical Journal, 

Jas. H. DicKBO's, Prest. 



MARY JA.\ F. ( ariRO i <SF.T> f'URTIB. 



'P 



The Youngesi of ■ ■ ■!■<- l^i-H >«rt>n-o* cf 






Sh« married - - x i " 

187f), for thuij V . 

fie <>? fS!B^u|*r V ■• 'H'<:s *riw' i«W --it 

thoughtfulness for oihar?-, she j, 

and consolation for the needy, the 

cultivated, courteous and geni&is her ^ ^ Kn 

av-.' '''.e. Her influence for gooe .v,4^ ui!s.>=j>4iujeti, a»d liij- vt;i> j,>i>:;«!i.v>- 

W! on to ail who come within its sphen^. 

In full .sympathy witli tlie intellectual and s^isnafic pnrsuits ot her k: 
s,;. 'he tiroe sht^ coiild .spjire friHfi tl«' ■ 

oi' 1-. :-^.;^<- >«,•>";■ ■'•-'■i'>. of h?« VAyfaxy and Hterary ?r<<rl:. 

Her life was bir zaxm imi ^-haAtfcned by niimy "o; ->>»« v* 

always her ha-^ >e and ("haritj, wmjkl .kmd >: 

cloud into the isuasisi^c ui UoU ^ iovi* in ted comfort a««i i)*?***? iUs i»rg'r- 

Page Seventy-Seven 



Mrs. Moses"" AsKley C; 
Mary Jane DeRos5*;i 

1813-r903 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

'having now 
The bountl of man's appointed years, at last 
Life's blessings all enjoj-ed, life's labor done, 
Serenely to his final rest, has past; 
While the soft memory of his virtues yet 
Lingers like twilight hues when the bright 
Sun is set.' 

He has both in his life and in his death, left us an example worthy of our imitation. 

His professional attainments were of a high order, and no doubt contributed to the eleva- 
tion of the professional character in our State; while his sterling qualities as a man and a 
Christian reflect their additional lustre upon it. 

Let it be our aim, l)y the practice of like virtues, to elevate ourselves, our profession and 
our State. 

Resolved: That, while we condole with his surviving relations in the bereavement which 
they have sustained, we rejoice with them at the bright legacy which has been left them of a 
noble character erected on a basis of spotless integrity and a well spent life. 

The Secretary was directed to send the family of the deceased a copy of the above; and, 
also to furnish copies to the local Press and to the X. C. Medical Journal. 

Ja9. H. Dickson, Prest. 

F. W. Potter, Secty." 

MARY JANE (deROSSET) CURTIS. 

April 10, 1813— July 21, 1903. 

The Youngest of Dr. deRosset's Children and the Last Survivor of Her 

Generation. 

She married December 3, 1834, the Rev. Moses Ashley Curtis, D. D. (1808- 
1872), for thirty-seven years an honored Priest of the Diocese of North 
Carolina. 

Her character was one of singular purity and loveliness. The law of love 
was in her heart and governed her life; from a perennial fountain of unselfish 
thoughtfuhiess for others, she poured out treasures of helpfulness, sympathy 
and consolation for the needy, the suffering, the sorrowful. Intelligent and 
cultivated, courteous and genial, her companionship was a joy and delight to old 
and young alike. Her influence for good was unbounded, and her very presence 
was a benediction to all who come within its sphere. 

In full sympathy with the intellectual and scientific pursuits of her learned 
and accomplished husband, she gave all the time she could spare from the cares 
of a large family to share the enjoyment of his library and literary work. 

Her life was burdened with many cares and chastened by many sorrows, yet 
always her handmaidens. Faith, Hope and Charity, would lead her out of the 
cloud into the sunshine of God's love to find comfort and peace. Her large- 

Page Seventy-Seven 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSS ET FAMILY 

licarted cliarity, aided by a systematic habit of tithing, enabled her to contribute 
to many worthy benevolent objects which otherwise her limited resources could 
not have afforded. 

In later years the infirmities of age kept her mostly confined to the house, 
but her faculties were unimpaired, and she continued busy with her household 
occupations to the very last. More and more she became the idol of her home; 
and as the evening shadows gathered, her loved ones combined to make the golden 
sunset brighter by their tender ministrations. Her birthdays were looked for- 
ward to with keen anticipation of joyful family reunion, and towai-ds the last 
they became veritable love-feasts. Family and friends vied with each other to do 
honor and give happiness to the loved ones. Tokens of affectionate remembrance 
came from far and near ; garlands of flowers converted the rooms into bowers of 
beauty and filled them with fragrance. The great birthday cake with its eighty- 
odd candles shed radiant light upon the scene. Sweet music, vocal and 
instrumental, lent its charm, and with the rest her voice joined in hymns of 
praise and thanksgiving, or in the sweet melodies of tlie olden time, or the rich 
harmonies of Handel's grand choruses, which she dearly loved. 

Endowed with many and varied gifts, every child of the family would binng 
its special talent into requisition for the "Little Granny's" pleasure — love tokens 
of their own dainty needle, pen or pencil, and sometimes a love poem. One of 
these, "A Birthday Greeting," ran thus : 

A Birthday Greeting. 

What shall I wish thee for the coming year? 
Twelve months of dream-like ease? No care? No pain? 
Bright spring — calm summer — autumn without rain 
Of bitter tears? Would'st have it thus, my friend? 
What lessons then were learnt at the year's end? 

What shall I wish thee then? God knowetli well 
If I could have my way, no shade of woe 
Should ever dim thy sunshine — but I know 
Strong courage is not learnt in happy sleep. 
Nor patience sweet by eyes that never weep. 

Ah, would my wishes were of more avail 

To keep thee from the many jars of life! 

Still, let me wish the Courage for the strife — 

The Happiness that comes of work well done — 

And afterwards the Peace of victory won. "Little Mix." 



Page Seventy-Eight 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSS ET FAMILY 

Another tribute was "A Study in Color:" 

My Sweetheart — A Study in Color. 

"The color of your eyes? How can I tell? 
The color where the sweetest looks can dwell. 
Your eyes are heaven, and therefore must be blue, 
The tender color of my love for you. 

The color of your cheek? How answer this? 
The color that the sweetest is to kiss. 
That feels like apple-blossoms, sweet and light. 
It must be, like those blossoms, pink and white. 

The color of your lips? How shall I say? 
The color where the brightest smiles can stay. 
Where tender curves and dimples sweet and red — 
A color soft and warm — it must be red. 

The color of your hair? How shall I know? 

'Tis far more bright than any sunbeam's glow. 

Its meshes hold my heart-strings throbbing weight. 

It must be silver, for the bands are bright." M. B. 

With characteristic modesty, she shrank from adulation, yet she would 
graciously accept the homage of their loving devotion and express her grateful 
appreciation. 

At last the strife of life was o'er, and one summer night she fell asleep in Jesus. 
Angels bore her ransomed soul to the "Land of Pure Delight," where her husband 
and five of her children, who had gone before, were waiting at Heaven's gate to 
give her glad welcome. These were: William White, Armand deRosset, John 
Henry, Magdalene and Caroline. 

Her surviving children are: 

1. Ashley Curtis, b. April 29, 1842, m. Mary K. Nash, April 29, 1873. 

2. Rev. Charles Jared Curtis, b. November 5, 1848, m. Margaret Iglehart. 
3 and 4. Catherine Fullerton and Elizabeth deRosset, unmarried. 

5. Mary Louise ("Minna"), widow of Rev. Wm. S. Bynum, b. 1850. 

Rev. W. A. Curtis, D. D. (b. in Stockbridge, Mass., in 1808, d. in Hillsboro, 
N. C, 1872), was of the best Puritan stock of Massachusetts. Son of Rev. 
Jared Curtis and Thankful Ashley, daughter of General Ashley, of Revolu- 
tionary fame. He was a graduate of Williams College. His father removed to 
Charlestown, Mass., where he was for many years chaplain to the State's Prison. 
His son connected himself with the Church of the Advent, Boston, under the min- 
istry of Rev. Wm. Croswell. In October, 1830, he removed to Wilmington, 
N. C, as tutor in the family of Governor E. B. Dudley. He returned to Boston 

Page Seventy-N'mc 



A N N A LS O F T H E D E li S S E T F A M I LY 

in 1833, to pursue Iiis studies for tiie ministry and, returning to Wilmington the 
following year, was ordained Deacon by Bishop Moore, of Virginia, in 1835. 
At once he entered on Deacon's work, as a pioneer Missionary in the mountains 
of North Carolina — his wife making many rough journeys with him in that 
rough region. For about two years he was headmaster of the Diocesan School 
for Boys in Raleigh, and during that time was advanced to the Priesthood. In 
1841 he became Rector of St. [Matthew's Church, Hillsboro, N. C, where almost 
the whole of his ministerial life was spent, and where he died. 

Though a Massachusetts man and opposed to secession, he was an ardent 
Southerner in his feelings and two of his sons were in the Confederate Army — one 
of whom, John Henry, was killed by a sharpshooter just at the close of the war. 

No sketch of Dr. Curtis' life work would be complete without noticing the 
international fame he attained as a scientist, and especially as a botanist. These 
scientific pursuits were continued tliroughout his life. He became associated per- 
sonally and by constant correspondence and exchange of specimens with many 
of the leading botanists and was recognized as one of the world's famous 
scientists. Some of his important works, among them "Edible Fungi," illus- 
trated in color by himself, were never published, but after his death Hai-vard 
University came into the possession of much of his collection, as did Smithsonian 
Institute. 

Another gift of this many-sided man was that of music. To a high order of 
talent he added a fine voice in singing, and an unusual degree of cultivation in 
performing and of skill in composition. None of his works has ever been pub- 
lished, but a beautiful anthem, "How Beautiful Upon the Mountains," is well 
known by those who loved him. It was composed by himself for his own ordina- 
tion. Other musical composition would be well worthy of note, in anthem, hymn 
and chant form. 

Dr. Curtis' enthusiastic interest in the founding of the University of the 
South, Sewanee, Tenn., must be placed on record. He was on the original Board 
of Trustees and one of the Committee on Location. When the Committee 
reached the superb spot on the mountain top where now stands the great Univer- 
sity group of buildings, it was Dr. Curtis who, under the temple canopy of tlie 
grand forest trees, started the Gloria in pjxcelsis, in which all present joined 
with glad and thankful hearts. 



Page Eighty 



CiiAi'l'EE II. 



ARMAND JOHN pkEOSSET, M. i>., ill 

lSO-7- -i:>ec. y, 1897- 

•e the pf sokfijg dv 

Uii the false jiiagjuerjt of the part-- 
Consults his owu clear heaft, aati 
To be — nqt to be thought — an h«(»«8t iawii. 

On Tluirsday morning, D^tejaber 9, 1897. tfe soul sjf Or. Ai; 
deRo.sset III, passed from its emr^My taberaacle to t.he re-st lliat reiuunnui > ; 
the p«>pk- of God. He was the only sv/rrhmg son of tlse father ^ho8« hsHJorwJ 
n&jMC he Ijove, &vjd di«i iw Use hous?- where he was bs>rn., over nsn-et y jea?s bfcfore. 
His life - 'he cjcle of the Nin^tes'nth iVKtury fesK its Srst to its? last 

decade, a;. .gh •>'= :*,...; hllTlil^ ''^-^ ^■^' ''^■'^-'^ >*mo?ig his feliow- 

tnen, "woaring th<- wh, f i ■ ', ;.*; t K i>!' of NstuK^''*; 

uobleman — a Chnstssn &j«iU!;e4i= 



Reared m ; 
and gsiidcd by 
that he grew up a mvxkl ci 
and sirict di-: 



\\\ .XJ M ,t...,o.g.O r.AA La^^A 



ing," With the dsgr-^e of ,A. 11, is th« el«s« of ; «v ; 
and eight r«oi»ths. Mei; of his ^iay ;'>h^ - 
matriculation of this littk lad «f ra«ark«i;>k ........ 

college in charge of a faithfa.l st.n'.Hsst, 8.«d s ;?« kse..-* ;> 
the sobriquet of "Little Breeches." for roasij rf«,r« 
of his alma mater. 

it was his wish to adopt a military career, b;,^t his f 
*"fins!lj drifted" into the tntditioua] snedical prof-.ssimi 
winter of 18526-27 he ti.wk his first course at the Smirhe < ; 
eine, but the following year, attracted by the mpeiiot ■■ 
larger city s he went to th« University of FenRsylvafila, «- 
examiaatioo which occiipied only twenty-five rni:- 
he easily obtained his degree of M. D. at the saiue iwA 



ver an 
>iit;4'« his father 



Pflg-^ Eighty-One 



\ 



Arroani John DeRos.et. M, D.. Hi 

1807-1897 



% 



% 



"^"^sj^^^j^^sy- 



CHAPTER II. 

ARMAND JOHN deROSSET, M. D., HI. 
1807— Dec. 9, 1897. 

"His be the praise, who looking down with scorn 
On the false judgment of the partial hand, 
Consults his own clear heart, and boldly dares 
To be — not to be thought — an honest man." 

On Thursday morning, December 9, 1897, the soul of Dr. Annand John 
deRosset HI. passed from its earthly tabernacle to the rest that remaineth for 
the people of God. He was the only surviving son of the father whose honored 
name he bore, and died in the house where he was born, over ninety years before. 
His life spanned the cycle of the Nineteenth Century from its first to its last 
decade, and through all those years of mortal life he walked among liis fellow- 
men, "wearing the white flower of a blameless life," the highest type of Nature's 
nobleman — a Christian gentleman. 

Reared in such a home as has been described in the sketch of his father's life, 
and guided by the influence and example of his pious parents, it is not surprising 
that he grew up a model of every manly virtue. Under the thorough instruction 
and strict discipline of the teachers of those days, his education advanced so 
rapidly that in the spring of 1821, in his fourteenth year, he entered the Sopho- 
more Class at the University of North Carolina and "graduated in good stand- 
ing," with the degree of A. B., in the class of 1824, at the age of sixteen years 
and eight months. Men of his day long remembered "the extraordinary 
matriculation of this little lad of remarkable intellectual gifts" who came to 
college in charge of a faithful servant, and was known to his fellow-students by 
tlie sobriquet of "Little Breeches." For many years he was senior alumnus 
of his alma mater. 

It was his wish to adopt a military career, but his father opposed it and he 
"finally drifted" into the traditional medical profession of the family. In the 
winter of 1826-27 he took his first course at the South Carolina College of Medi- 
cine, but the following year, attracted by the superior clinical advantages of a 
larger city, he went to the University of Pennsylvania, where, in 1828, "after an 
examination which occupied only twenty-five minutes in the dreaded green room, 
he easily obtained his degree of M. D. at the same institution where his father 

Page Eighty-One 



A \ X A LS OF THE DE R S S E T F A M I L Y 

had gratluatcd nearly fort}' years before." Tlie surgical branch of medical 
science interested him greatly, but the daily routine of country and city practise 
was distasteful, and, notwithstanding the urgent appeals of patients, friends and 
citizens, he dctcmiined to abandon the profession. 

Turning his attention to mercantile pursuits, in 1839 lie entered into a part- 
nership with Mr. J. P. Brown in the establishment of a general commission 
business, of which he was the head in Wilmington. His broad intelligence and 
sound judgment, his high sense of truth and honor and absolute integrity won 
the trust and confidence of business men at home and abroad, and gave to the 
firm such extensive patronage that it soon became recognized as one of the 
prominent commercial houses of the country. His word was his bond. At a 
time of commercial depression, when property might have been legally retained 
by the compromise of debt, his high ideals of personal honor and rectitude were 
supremely manifested ; but mens conscia recti was far more precious to him than 
the possession of any amount of property could be, and in the evening of his 
days his beautiful home, with other valuable properties, was sacrificed and the 
debts were paid. 

Reduced in circumstances, with no vain regrets for the affluence he had 
enjoyed for over three score years and ten, he accepted the position of clerk in 
an insurance office, without loss of self-respect or honor with the community, 
working for the support of himself and those dependent on him. This wonderful 
rebound of energy — this spirit of independence — this uncomplaining acceptance 
of adversity — I regard as the crowning glory of my father's character, the 
joyous sunset hues brightening the close of a well spent life. As a citizen. 
Dr. deRosset's pubUc spirit kept him alive to the interests of his State in pro- 
moting internal improvements for the development of her vast resources. He 
was promoter, stockholder and director in many public enterprises ; one of the 
first subscribers to the stock of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad, and for 
fifty-five years on its Board of Directors. An extract from his "Reniiniscenses" 
may be aptly quoted in this connection. Written when he was well advanced in 
years, at the solicitation of his children, lie tells the story of his missions to 
England in the interests of that railroad : 

"Among the incidents of my life, to which I look back with pleasure and some 
degree of pride, is the successful negotiation which I made in 1849, as the chosen 
agent of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad Company, of $520,000 of its bonds 
in England, in exchange for iron rails for the track of the road, which had been 
previously made of wooden scantling with strap iron spiked on, all the way, 162 
miles, from Wilmington to Weldon. 

Page Eighty-Two 



ANNALS OF THE DE HOSSE T F A M I L Y 

I was one of the original subscribers to the stoclv of the company, and am now, 
I beheve, the only surviving one, and have been a member of the Board of Direc- 
tors almost from its first organization. The road was completed in 1837; had 
done and was doing a large business, with the prospect of very large increase 
from the consti-uction of the North Carolina Road and the Wilmington & ]\Ian- 
chester Road, which were about to be constructed. But a few years before, I 
was called upon to undertake the negotiation above referred to ; after experience 
of twelve years, the conclusion had been arrived at that without an iron track the 
company never could be successful. Its property was mortgaged to the State, 
to which it owed six or seven hundred thousand dollars, and its credit at home 
had fallen so low that the principal merchant of Wilmington, Mr. Alexander 
Anderson, had refused to fill an order for one dozen shovels to clear up the 
rubbish of a burnt building in the company's yard. 

Finding it impossible to conduct the business of the company under such cir- 
cumstances, the directors applied to the Legislature, in 1847 or 1848, for an 
endorsement by the State of the company's bonds for the purpose of purchasing 
iron rails. The members were generally very favorably inclined towards the 
company, but fearing that it would not be a popular measure to involve the State 
by the proposed endorsement, they declined to do so and offered, as an alternative, 
to waive the State's mortgage on the property of the road and so give the 
company a clean title upon which the necessary credit could be based for the 
security of the debt to be contracted for the purchase of iron rails. 

Feeling, as I did, great confidence in the future success of the road with an iron 
track, and with the prospect of largely increased business to result from the 
completion of the new works above mentioned, I consented to accept the mission to 
which I was called, and after satisfying myself that nothing could be done in 
this country, either by a sale of the bonds to capitalists or by treating with manu- 
facturers by taking them in payment for rails, I sailed for Liverpool in the 
Cunard steamer "America" in May, 1849. 

I soon found that a sale of the bonds could not be affected in England to 
any of the large capitalists, and was advised by Messrs. Geo. Peabody & Co. to 
confine my efforts to direct negotiation with iron manufacturers for the purchase 
of rails, to be paid for with the bonds which I had in charge. At first success 
seemed very doubtful and I feared that I should have to return home without 
accomplishing anything; but, after persevering for a time, I made the acquaint- 
ance of a Mr. RadcliflPc, managing partner of the great house of Bailey Brothers, 
of Liverpool, and succeeded in convincing him that my views as to the future 
success of the company were well founded, and that the transaction proposed 

Page Eighty-Three 



A X X A L S OF THE D E ROS S E T F A M 1 LY 

would 1)0 safe and profitable to his firm. He agreed to furnish the rails we 
wanted at a price somewhat above the cash market value, to pay the freight and 
duties, and deliver them at Wilmington, but on condition that he must first consult 
and receive the sanction of his senior partner before concluding so large and 
important a transaction. He was very confident that the trade would be con- 
firmed by the Mes.srs. Bailey and, in fact, did have the consent of one of them 
residing in Liverpool. The senior brother, being a Member of Parliament, 
then in session in London, Mr. Radcliffe went there for consultation with him, 
and appointed a day to give nic a final answer at Morley's Hotel. 

When the day arrived, I was appalled, upon meeting Mr. Radcliffe, to hear 
that, without looking into the statement and arguments I had submitted fully 
in writing, Mr. Bailey positively vetoed the transaction, and that he could do 
nothing further in the matter. 

He seemed much disappointed and mortified, and then for the first time 
infonned me that "The Coalbrookdale & Ebbvale Company" was to have taken 
half the contract in case of its having been made. He gave me a note of intro- 
duction to his friend, ]\Ir. Robinson, secretary of the company, and hoped I 
might succeed in negotiating with them. 

Mr. Robinson had consented to take iialf the contract without any knowledge 
of the facts, simply relying on his confidence in Mr. Radcliffe. At Mr. Robin- 
son's request, I went over the whole case with him, and left my written papers 
to be submitted to his company. 

After full discussion and considoratioii, the company agreed tliat they would 
take half the contract, on condition that I could get some other manufacturer to 
take the other half, and with the important modification that the rails should be 
delivered "free on board" at some English or Welsh port, the purchasing com- 
pany to provide for the freight and duties. 

This at first seemed to be an impossible condition, but, after nnich difficulty, I 
succeeded in inducing Mr. Sampson Ricardo, an Italian merchant of London, to 
take the other half; and the contracts were closed. 

Shipments were promptly commenced, and my mission, so happily concluded, 
proved to be a turning point in the history of the Wilmington & Weldon Railroad, 
which soon began to pay dividends to the stockholders, and its prosperity has 
continued, with sonic interruptions, until now it is one of the most valuable and 
powerful corporations in the South. 

During the war it became a most valuable channel for the transportation of 
troops and supplies for the Confederacy; but before the close its track and roll- 
ing stock were almost entirely destroyed, and, finally, was held by the United 

Page E'tghiy-Four 



.^ A' A : '/ I: i:> E » O S « E T F A M 

States Go^ aUl the xail ot i- 

up to the ; , vreck, Th« fojv 

1849, were then withki four yi;ars of maturity , - - ■ 

became due during the war ranamed un|>aid, aiid tri«re <» 

for them, or for tb*; large ama««t required for rt^pasrs asj-. . . 

of the road. 

I was again called upon hj the company to visit England for the purpose of 
making a new loan to provide i'or tln^^e urgent iseeds, aisd t/> ^'fs thc^ 

lx>adho]dev< *"<<'• '!><■ *>v{rii<.ii)vi f^^r fifrs-v-n v.-^srs of HiC |-5!!>e ! ■ ; > of 

the Iwnds. 

I Hccepted the mission, and sailed from New York in the Cuisard st<.'<! 
"Australian" early in October, 186-5, with my wife and our son, Fn'derif.l- 
nine years old. And after succeeding in accomplishsng all the obJe<.*t* asd 
of the company, and placing their finances is as con>f ortable a condition as could 
be desired, "■ steajMship, reaching home safely in 

Marcos, 1866.. 

I o»,i5?1>t to ■ > charge and recesvHi ao tx>s«|>t;i'i;safcion frons the 

cosTip; iij services on either of -.he rfiissioos 's^hich I so successfully accom- 

plisheti, and whicfj were so essftofla i foji'' 4 ho-|»j>j*»»j4^^^--»^---U»-4»s»>» | ,i . sih^^^^^^ 



Ti is not mv purpose to ^rrite a t:iogTa|>h^f4^«r |sitr%r^ i>l^s;rs mor* cap^^bk 
■ lone that so rea>ntly< so ndlj. sq "^^va&S'i^ '^^'-V 't^« r>>.^"^oe iiir^:x^:>.mys- tor 
nic to attempt it, 
domestic circle &s lui&b&Sid, ts-' 

At i}M' age of tweniy-0!je «■>;< : "i-. yw&i. he hfy;:4<>"^ ' ■ ;■>■> 

father's house a young wife, jjist seTeotwr?., EIJia Je-ari Lortl, rfe?igi.v ■ 

Isam C;- and Elisa (HiU) Lsm—lf = 

To use .his own words, their **ur5iv>. .>c .... -, . 
can be enjoyed in this life for forty-seven years." 

milies of Lord and .Hill were ami«ig the earliest settlers of ti-^e i,ajK> 
Fciu- section and resided at Bronswick until th« inhabitants of that towi\ were 
conijjclled, for greater security during the Revohstionarj War, to ahaodon st 
and remove to Wilmington, fifteen miles farther Vip the river. Here their 
descfiftdants to the present diiy have h<.HVfi aivjoag the most n>spectf-d a.iHi himored 
citiKcns — as are also their sjv*i?jf rektlves ,is> otJser Stst<L'», .Both fajailies a.5>^ of 
English ancestry and of the best New England stock. William Hill (HSt- 
1783), a graduate of Harvard University, in the eh*s.* of 175*, <nrvlgrated t,o 
Cape Fear in 1T56, and married in HST Margaret M'«>ri% of the di*?t!nguished 
fainiiy of that; name who f-^'^'i'-^ ■■ ? > ■- P- . ...;,^;>v ^. v vO:> '?,... i,„>Cy, 

Page Eighfij-Five 






tiias,,-}. Lord, 1812-4C! 
wife of Dr. A' J. DeRoeset 3rd 






AXX ALS OF THE DE ROS S E T F A M I L Y 

States Government as a military road until the fall of 1865, when it was given 
up to the company, almost a complete wreck. The company's bonds, issued in 
1849, were then within four years of maturity. A number of the coupons which 
became due during the war remained unpaid, and there were no funds to provide 
for them, or for the large amount required for repairs and for the re-equipment 
of the road. 

I was again called upon by the company to visit England for the purpose of 
making a new loan to provide for these urgent needs, and to arrange with the 
bondholders for the extension for fifteen years of the time of the maturity of 
the bonds. 

I accepted the mission, and sailed from New York in the Cunard steamship 
"Australian" early in October, 1865, with my wife and our son, Frederick, then 
nine years old. And after succeeding in accomplishing all the objects and wishes 
of the company, and placing their finances in as comfortable a condition as could 
be desired, we returned in the same steamship, reaching home safely in 
:\rarch, 1866. 

I ought to add that I made no charge and received no compensation from the 
company for my services on either of the missions which I so successfully accom- 
plished, and which were so essential for the promotion of its prospeirty." 

It is not my purpose to write a biography of my father. Others more capable 
have done that so recently, so fully, so lovingly, that it would be superfluous for 
me to attempt it. Rather would I recall him in the sacred privacy of his 
domestic circle as husband, father, friend. 

At the age of twenty-one and a half years. May 13, 1829, he brought to his 
father's house a young wife, just seventeen, Ehza Jean Lord, daughter of Wil- 
liam C. and Eliza (Hill) Lord — life-long friends and neighbors of the family. 

To use his own words, their "union was blessed with as perfect happiness as 
can be enjoyed in this life for forty-seven years." 

The families of Lord and Hill were among the earliest settlers of the Cape 
Fear section and resided at Bi-unswick until the inhabitants of that town were 
compelled, for greater security during the Revolutionary War, to abandon it 
and remove to Wilmington, fifteen miles further up the river. Here their 
descendants to the present day have been among the most respected and honored 
citizens — as are also their many relatives in other States. Both families are of 
English ancestry and of the best New England stock. William Hill (1734- 
1783), a graduate of Harvard University, in the class of 1754, emigrated to 
Cape Fear in 1756, and married in 1757 Margaret Moore, of the distinguished 
family of that name who founded the Cape Fear colony, in 1723. The tomb 

Page Eight tj-Fkx 



A A' A' A LS OF THE DE KOSS E T F A M I L Y 

of this estimable couple is in good presei-vation in the old burial ground of St. 
Philip's Church, and bears, in part, this inscription: 

"Here lye deposited the remains of the Honble Wni. Hill, aged 47, and his 
wife, Margaret Moore, aged 84. He was possessed of every virtue that adonis 
the Man. She of all that could endear the Wife, or cause the Mother to be 
revered and loved. They lived eminently respected and esteemed and so lamented 
died." 

In the same churchyard lie the remains of William Lord, founder of the North 
Carolina branch of this family, with his wife, Margaret Espey, and many of 
their descendants. His great-grandson, William C. Lord, 1793-1847, and his 
wife, Eli/a Hill, 1794-1875, granddaughter of the above William and Margaret 
Hill, were the parents of my mother, Eliza J. I^onl deRosset. 

Our beautiful home, hallowed by the daily Morning Sacrifice of Prayer and 
Thanksgiving, was the abode of refinement and culture where all that could 
oft'eiid good taste was banished and innocent amusement and pleasure encouraged. 
It was noted for its elegant entertainments, its lavish hospitality, its innumerable 
acts of loving kindness to friends, and charity to the needy. Leaders in the 
social world, happy in each other and in their children and large circle of 
friends, our parents were blessed with all that earthly hearts could desire or 
Christian hope look forward to. 

My father was not a poet, but he often indulged in versification ; he was wont 
to send notes and telegrams of sympathy or congratulation in rhyme, which 
brought forth similar responses and afforded much innocent enjoyment. Among 
his cherislied treasures is a "Book of Remembrance," containing hundreds of 
tributes penned by those who loved him — sometimes quotations, but often 
original. I do not scruple to appropriate one of these as a specimen of the 
sentiment that pervaded them all : 

"Reverent and tender and true! Let me see, 
\\'hat more can I say of my dear love for thee. 
My father, my friend and my guide all these years. 
Most precious thou art to thy daughter — 

Kate Meahes. 

Some of his fugitive poems have the true poetic ring, and I cannot refrain 
from transcribing here, as worthy of preservation, his paraphrase of 



Page Eighty-Six 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

The Lord's Prayer. 

Our Father in Heaven, to Thee we pray 

That Thy great name may hallowed be. 
Thy Kingdom come. Oh! haste the day 

When all the world shall bow to Thee, 
When Thy blest will shall have full sway 

And earth, like Heaven, from sin be free. 

Sustain, O Lord ! our bodies frail. 

Preserve our souls with Bread of Life. 
Forgive our sins. Let us not fail 

Our foes to bless, and keep from strife. 

Whene'er the tempter's wiles assail. 

Do Thou be near and keep us pure. 
May Thy good Spirit never fail 

To be our Guide forevermore. 

Glory and Power to Thee belong. 

In Thy dread Presence we appear 
Only in name of Christ, Thy Son, 
Who taught us thus to make our prayer. 

Amen. 
September 18, 1889. 

Conspicuous foi* loyal devotion to the Church, where were centered his holiest 
affections, it was from Her sacred teachings that came the inspiration of all that 
was noblest and best in his character and in his daily life. And it was from 
her appreciation of his true worth that came the honors he valued above all 
others. He was Warden, Vestryman, Deputy to Diocesan and General Councils, 
Treasurer of the Diocese, Chairman of the Committees on Canons and on the 
State of the Church. In short, he held every ecclesiastical position that could 
be filled by a layman. His most intimate and beloved friends were his Bishops 
and Priests. Well versed in Church History and Canon Law, he was an 
authority on all such subjects. Lavishly generous to every demand for Church 
extension and improvement, his beneficence was manifested in various ways. 
An instance of it was a gift to the Parish immediatel}' after the Civil War of an 
entire block of city lots, whereon was a spacious building for a "Church Home" 
for all the parochial charities. This work was opened in 1870, and after 
twenty years of successful operation, the building having been destroyed by fire, 
it was removed to another part of the city and developed into the Mission Chapel 
of the Good Shepherd, with its various organizations for religious and charitable 
work. 

Page Eighty-Seven 



ANNALS OF THE DE ROSS ET FAMILY 

A page from the records of St. James' Parish : 

hi Memoriatn. 

ARMAND JOHN DeROSSET, M. D. 

BoBN October 6th, 1807, 
Died December 9th, 1897. 

A devoted Communicant of ttie Church for 65 years. 

Delegate to the Diocesan Conventions of 183-;?, 1838, 1847, 
1850, 185;^, 1855 to 1897. 

Deputy to the General Council of the Confederate States 
186:^-64. 

Deputy to the General Convention for 30 years, 1867-1897. 

Treasurer of the Diocese of North Carolina from 1870 to 
1883; of East Carolina, 1883 to July ^th, 1896. 

Member of the Standing Committee of North Carolina, 1876- 
188-^; of East Carolina, 1883-1896; and of the Committee on 
Canons of East Carolina, 1883-1896. 

"Full of Faith and Good Works." 

And not only for C'lirist and His Church were his services rendered. His 
country, in her hour of dire need, had no more loyal son tlian he. Six of his 
sons were given to the Confederate service ; one, Edward L., a lad of seventeen, 
"only a private," was among the earliest victims of that cruel war. Two were 
wounded nigh unto death. Col. W. L. and Capt. A. L. ; and only a few years 
later four of them had passed away and lay sleeping at Oakdale with the little 
sister, who, in 1855, was the first solitary occupant of that city of the dead. 
My father was the princijial promoter of that Cemetery Company, took the 
greatest interest in it, was its first President, for many years, and his youngest 
daughter, "little Annie," was the first person buried there, in February, 1855. 
Of his three sons-in-law in the service, one, Col. Gaston Meares, of the Third 
North Carolina Infantry, fell at tlie head of his regiment on the bloody field of 
Malvern Hill, July 1, 186^. 

]\Irs. deRosset was a woman of rare executive ability thioughout the war, was 
President of the Soldiers' Aid Society of Wilmington, ministering continually 
with wonderful energy and untiring activity to the comfort of the soldiers, in 
field and hospital. She was prominent among the organizers of the Ladies' 
Memorial Association of Wilmington, afterwards merged into the North Carolina 
Division of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 

October £3, 1876, the great calamity of his life fell upon my father, in the 
sudden death of his beloved wife. They were together, attending the Centennial 
Celebration of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, when the sti'oke 

Page Eight tj-Eight 




r ^/ 



y 



i--^' 



St. Jamef Churcn 
Wilmington. N. C 







ANNALS OF THE DE ROSSET FAMILY 

\ jMAgv from the i-ecords of St. James' Parish: 

hi Memoriam. 

ARM AND JOHN DeROSSET, M. D. 

BcHN OcTOBEB (trn, 1807, 
Died Decembeb 9tm, 1897. 

A ds^«<fed ('oinmunicsnt of the Churoh for 65 years. 

Deiegate to the Diotesan Convt-ntioiiS of liBS, 1S38, 1S47, 

iSSO, iS.5-J, iHSf: i.Q lUiVi. 

Dessutv to Use Gcfierai Co«acU of the Onfc-ierate States 



issa-fti. 




I>5>vit\ k> 


ths Genss-isi 


Tr--;&>.;iri:r 


v.f ih*- Du 



;!to' of North Carolina. IJito- 
iS-^J, V-:- i:.v !-; >,.xi,'i^UiUi, i>}.-5;i-i-t>;(S; aiui of !iie 0>snfaivt«« tss 
Canons, of Kast CovoSina, 1883-1896. 

•'!■ oil of Faith unil Good Works."' 

.\»d not only for ('hrist and His Church were his semces rendered. His 
?ri her h'Hi^- of dii*<i bttti, IWid ?1« VHOr^ loyal son t!i&n ise. Six of his 

t/dwanl L., a lad of seventeen, 
'oiUy a private, " wajw«*fto»^«tie.t«iriiest victiftis of that crue! war. Two were 
vvotuKiesl niijli unto dt;'M.\e<A^\mf>*^ L. and Cai; t. A, I,. ; tuid onij a few years 



later to 



si.ster, -v 



e givtn to ihi- (V't'ifedcrait" service; one 
private," J»wil*^o»^4{ie.t3rliest victims 
s nigli unto dt;'M.\e<A^\mf>*^ L. and Caj 
ir of the-j! had pas:;c'd .-uxay a.ad hw >!■ 
ht!, ill 183;";, wa.-, Uii.' fii.sl noiit,!! ' ^ 



epiiig fit Oakdale with the little 
ipant of that city of the dead. 



ilj fatiser was the prinei|)a,! promoter of th.it Cemetery C'onipan3\ took the 
greatest interest in it, was it.s ^rst President, for matiy ye.'irs, arid liis youngest 
daughter, "little Amiie,*' wa.s the first penson buried there, in February, 1855. 
Of his three sons-in-law in the service, one, Col. Gaston Meares, of the Third 
North. Carolina Intantry, fell at the head of hi.> regitncnt ost tHe bRwdf fkid of 
Malverii Hill, July i, 186^. 

Mrs. dcliosset was a v.'(>mari of rare exeeutis'e ability throughoat the war, was 
Pi-e.sident of th-c So'disrs' Aid S^'K-iety of Wilrningtori, jnisiistering continually 



\vith wouderfai tiserjiv 



asKS ujjti 



rjr.g aetivity to the cofnfort of the soldiers, in 



field and hospital. She iva;; p-owinent among the organizers of the Ladies' 
Memorial Associaiiois of Wihrnngton, afterwards merged into the North Carolina 
Divi.sion of the United Daughters of the Confederacy. 

October 523, 1876, the great calasiiity of h.ls life fell upon my father, in the 
sudden death of his beloved wife. They were together, attending the Centennial 
Cs.'k>bration of the Declaration of Independence in Philadelphia, when the stroke 



Page Eighty-Eight 



I V V ; 



came. Griei'-.s' ;^' not as erne wit!- 

hope of a }'' -ife with char; ' 

foHifudp i near three 

re ii»t burden could be h 
arid Cji- bi'mg forth yet more abundaiUl. 

fruit i ■... -. , iiame. His pure life and holy ex<i: 

seemu^i u.ilj as a blessed influence for goo<L All ^ 

and CO on fett his presence as a benediction. None ever h' 

his- lip •!..■ or unclean word, and it wf- 

a gent: uid be done or spoken in Dr. o. : 

Truly we have i-eason to rise up and call hins. i 
every remembrance of him and our noble mother. 

They had issue: 

1. Catherine r>oi!s!sss. I> Msy 

3. EUai Is: 

'i. Alice J,< 

a. Mese-s .' -^ — v^>»r V, SaH?; ..,■;.?; i.'.k-. 



G. Louis ^i 

8. Edwani Swjft, b, 

9. Thomas Chiids, b. hepteisot;-. i, 

10. .'Vnnie. b. April !>, VAm d. F«* 

1 1 . Fredcrii' Anmsi 



'''''^' U iMiM 'fey ^ 

' **% My,A^!A«^*'^*^ l?fS6& 

I, .A xonabsti nrio(. eaauM 



i). A pvn ' 1% iM « , ia. ymrr W:"8m' -^ v 

Thfc year nftes- i.iv ftiother's (k&th (.November 15> 187t ? H*- ^• 

to Catherine M. Kennedy, «>.-—!■..■■"•!— -.>' :■;■ ..;.!,..,,; ... 

closely associated with our 

UIj^^urpassed ii; 

for seveuteen ■ 

blessing his deci.: 

was smitten by the \ 

>\t the begi: 

sorrow. 

Lo.s.s of lorUine arui :. 

his fathers old bmne, now hss s>«.i< • 

life were speat, co»iforr!.^i by rl!. 

.scarcely less affectionate attent,^.,- , ^ • . 

His last few weeks were greatly comforted by 

of his beloved son, the Rev. Frederick A. fMlos=«iS;t 



snarried. 



Eighti/'X Hi- 



— 


TK 


e Sc\ 


en 




of 




^. 




Son. 


Dr 


auJ 


Mr.. 


A 


. J 


DeR 




t 




Arm 






Will 


.a,n 1 




rh'jins? *. - 


trtses. 


*t„hn 






.t A 


■^ 1„ 


ui* 


H 




\ 



\ 



'.■"^fe?,,-' 



/ 



\ 



./ 



AXXAI.S OF THE DEROSSET FAMILY 

came. Grief -stricken by the bereavement, yet mourning not as one without 
liope of a blessed reunion, he took up again the burden of life with characteristic 
fortitude and submission to God's will. His age was then near three score and 
ten ; but there was still much to be done before that burden could be laid down, 
and God gave him strength and grace to bring forth yet more abundantly the 
fruit of good works to the glory of His name. His pure life and holy example 
seemed to be felt by the community as a blessed influence for good. All sorts 
and conditions of men felt his presence as a benediction. None ever heard from 
his lips a profane or unclean word, and it was said "no act or word unbecoming 
a gentleman could be done or spoken in Dr. deRosset's presence." 

Truly we have reason to rise up and call him blessed, and to thank God upon 
every remembrance of him and our noble mother. 

They had issue: 

1. Catherine Douglass, b. May 31, 1830, m. Col. Gaston Meares. 

2. William Lord, b. October -27, 183.^ m. ,^ \ ^'"^'"'J]: ^'^^ 

} -2 Elizabeth b. Nash 

3. Eliza Hill ("Lossie"), b. December 23, 183-1, m. Capt. Chas. D. Myers. 

4. Alice London, b. June 15, 1836, d. September 2, 1897, m. Major Graham Daves. 

5. Moses John, b. July i, 183^ d. May 1, 1881, m. Adelaide Meares. 

C. Louis Henry, b. April 11, 1840, d. November 11, 1875, m. ' , ^. t^ V, 

J' t- ' > ' I 2 Jane D. Cowan 

7. Armand Lamar, b. January 28, 1842, m. Tallulah E. Low. 

8. Edward Swift, b. February 12, 1844, d. December 30, 1861, in Confederate service. 

9. Thomas Childs, b. Septemlier 1, 1845, m. Louise W. Hatton. 

10. Annie, b. April 5, 1848, d. February 5, 1855. 

11. Frederic Ancrum, b. April 14, 1856, m. Mary W. Green. 

The year after my mother's death (November 15, 1877) he was again married, 
to Catherine M. Kennedy, step-daughter of his widowed sister. She had been 
closely associated with our family from childhood, and dearly loved by us all. 
Unsurpassed in all the gentle and affectionate qualities that can adorn a woman, 
for seventeen years she cheered his loneliness as none other could have done, 
blessing his declining 3'ears by tender devotion and loving care. But again he 
was smitten by the Father's rod when (March 3, 1894) she was taken away just 
at the beginning of the malady which three }'ears later removed him from earthly 
sorrow. 

Loss of fortune and his beautiful home in 1882 had compelled his removal to 
his father's old home, now his own by inheritance. There the last j'ears of his 
life were spent, comforted by the loving service of his surviving children and the 
scarcely less affectionate attentions of faithful colored servants and friends. 
His last few weeks were greatly comforted by the presence and spiritual ministry 
of his beloved son, the Rev. Frederick A. deRosset. 

Page Eighty-Nine 



A \ X A LS OF THE DE BOS S E T V A M I I. Y 

Yet again the sunset of life was shadowed by a great grief. After a long 
illness, his beloved daughter, Alice London, wife of Maj. Graham Daves, died, 
September 3, 1897. Altogether lovely in every relation of life, possessed of rare 
intellectual gifts and personal chai'ni, she was admired and dearly loved by all 
who knew her. "The light of loyal service to the King shone through her life 
and lit up other lives with the bright fire of love." Her loss left in our hearts 
an aching void which Heaven alone can fill. Christian faith and resignation 
sustained her stricken father, who looked ever more and more longingly for the 
blessed reunion he felt was very near. 

At last, when the golden sheaf was fully ripe, the summons came. "Called 
like a watchworn weary sentinel to put his armor off," he fell asleep December 
9, 1897. His mortal remains lie at the foot of his Cross in beautiful Oakdale, 
while his redeemed soul in the "Church at Itest" w.'iits in joyful hope the Day of 
Resurrection and tiie eternal joys of the Church Triumphant. 

"We give Thee liearty thanks, Heavenly Father, for the good example of 
these Thy servants, who, having finished their course through Faith, do now 
rest from their labors." 



My Annals of the deRossets end as the Nineteenth Century draws to its close. 
I can find for their conclusion no words more appropriate than those of one of 
the hymns sung at the beautifully impressive burial service of my father, the last 
living Dr. dellosset : 

"The Saints of God ! Tlieir conflicts past. 
And life's long battle won at last. 
No more they need the shield or sword, 
They cast them down Ijefore their Lord. 

O happy Saints! forever blest, 

At Jesus' feet, how sweet your rest ! 

The Saints of God ! Their vipil keep 
While yet their mortal liodies sleep. 
Till from the dust they too shall rise 
And soar triumphant to the skies, 

O Saints! Rejoice and sing, 

He quickly comes, your Lord and King. 
Amen." 



Page Xinety 




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n, ^ ! J. D..R 

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AN:S J IS OF THE DE ROSSE 



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Yet again tisf suft.«et of life was shadowed by a great gi-Ief. After a long 
illness, his hfiint-d daugbii'r, Alice Ltsidon, wife of Maj. Graham Daves, died, 
Septf.'niber &, 1897. Altogether lovely in every relation of life, possessed of rare 
ir-felkctuai gifts and personal dsami, she was admired and dearly loved by all 
who kisi-vr hi-r. "The light of loyal service to the King shone through her life 
and lit up other lives witli th.e bright fire of love." Her loss left in our hearts 
&ii aciiiug v'Oi<l which Heaven alone can fill. Christian faith and resignation 
sc(stai«fid her stsiokers father, who looked ever more and more longingly for the 
bk-s,-»s.>4'l >ry near. 

At ];, ''■'■' •■ *• '"'-'^v ripe, the summons came. "Called 

I'ik'-i-: » watelrKor?.- ■«>■: uar atF," he fell asleep December 

9, 1B9T. liis inonal reroasKs ise at tfR- J?K>t of h -i teautjful Oakdate, 

while his redeensed soul in the "Church at Best" wauc. ii^ ^j-^vful bop«; the Day of 
Resurrection and the etenial joys of the Church Triumphant. 

"W'; give Thee hearty thanks, <,) Heavenly FaMier, for the goot! example of 
IIh;*-- Thy N«r-,- luiving iinislsed their course through Faith, do now 



Mv 



inod smviviuC satrlT «iH Las 
jl-jiiatsi'-I V5>I J nietlliW (oO .J bncmiA ♦<!«:) 

A.nn&ls of thg dellosjiets end aij the Nineteenth C entury draws to its close. 



Wing 



I for their i'oricUi.^ion no words more appropriate than those of one of 
* siing at f h« itCiiutVintly impressive burial service of my father, the last 
i>r, deliosset : 

■The Stiints of Gixit Their Ltiv.fAcU past. 
Anil ijfe's ioag battie woe n't 'm»i. 
Nrt i»i>n- tb«-:y -u-^ei:? 4he shicK? or sword, 
rs!f:y cssi tbeiH down before their Lord. 

O hiippy Saints ! forever biest. 

At Jesus' feet, how sweet your rc«t! 



The Sidnts O; 
White fet fees 



■r -sigii keep 



xaes si«ep. 



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rUl iroia. Uk- dn;A thmf im shall rise 
Ami -,/.?;- iTiaaipbarst to the skies, 

O ft«5iit«' Rejoice and sijig, 

tie quickly cosnes, yoxu' L<>r<5 ant3 King. 
Ajnen.-' 



Page Nimty 



CONCLUSION. 

■' 'Twere better to be meanly born and good 
Than one unworthy of his noble blood; 
Though all thy walls shine with thy pedigree 
Yet virtue only makes nobility. 

Then that thy pedigree may useful be, 

Seek out the virtues of thy family, 

And to be worthy of thy father's name, 

Search out the good they did— and do the same." 

Oh, sons and daughters of the deRosset line, our ancestors have devised to us an 
imperial crown — a crown of uprightness, truth and honor. May God help us 
always to guard and keep our shield unstained. Let us each, like Shakespeare's 
kingly hero, swear, "The whole world's strength put into one giant arm shall 
never force this lineal honor from me." 



Fage Ninety-One 



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